Frequently Asked Questions About Sports Mouth Guards
Did you get hit in the face unexpectedly during an intense match or meet the floor during a daring dive?
Enter the underrated champion: the sports mouth guard.
These devices safeguard your teeth, ensuring your pearly whites stay as bright as your game moves!
What is a Sports Mouth Guard?
A sports mouth guard, sometimes referred to as a mouth shield or dental guard, is crafted to protect the inside of your mouth during sports.
Imagine a soft, padded cover that fits tightly around your upper teeth, offering protection from potential injuries.
What Injuries Do Sports Mouth Guards Prevent?
The main goal of sports mouth guards is to protect your teeth, gums, lips, and tongue from unexpected bumps or knocks during play.
By spreading out the impact from blows, these guards minimize the chances of tooth troubles, like breaks or knocked-out teeth.
But they’re not just about preserving your smile; they also lessen the danger of major issues like broken jaws.
Who Should Wear a Sports Mouth Guard?
When you’re going all-in with thrilling sports, sometimes a mouth guard becomes your best buddy for keeping your smile safe.
Check out who should think about making sports mouth guards part of their game gear:
- Football Players: Expect tackles and unexpected twists.
- Basketball Players: Watch out for those flying elbows and sudden bumps.
- Hockey Players: Between pucks, sticks, and the slippery surface, your face might catch some action.
- Boxers and MMA Fighters: Taking punches makes safeguarding your smile crucial.
- Lacrosse Players: Given the game’s pace and hits, guarding your mouth is a smart move.
- Rugby Players: It’s a tough game, and guarding your grin is essential.
- Wrestlers: Getting up close and personal can be a challenge for your teeth.
- Skateboarders and BMX riders: Falls happen; it’s best to be ready.
- Martial Artists: A missed kick or punch? Protect that smile!
- Baseball and Softball Players: Fast balls and unexpected moves mean mouth guards are a good call, especially for key players.
- Skiers and Snowboarders: Unplanned dives and bumps suggest a mouth guard is smart gear.
Even if your sport isn’t on this list, if there’s a chance of spills, player contact, or flying gear, it’s a good idea to think about a sports mouth guard.
Why Should I Get a Custom-Made Sports Mouth Guard Instead of a Store-Bought One?
Choosing custom-made sports mouth guards over the ones you’d pick up at a regular store boils down to a few key reasons:
- Precise Fit: These mouth guards are designed just for you, making sure they sit comfortably in your mouth.
- Enhanced Protection: Since they’re made to fit you perfectly, custom mouth guards give that extra layer of protection against any knocks or bumps.
- Durability: Crafted from the best materials, these mouth guards are built to last, guarding your grin for the long run.
- Unobstructed Breathing: Their spot-on design ensures nothing blocks your airflow, especially when you’re giving it your all in a game.
- Clear Communication: With a perfect fit, you won’t mumble. This is super handy when you’re trying to chat with your teammates during a match.
How Long Do Sports Mouth Guards Last?
How long a sports mouth guard lasts can vary based on things like material, how often it’s used, the roughness of the sport, and how well you take care of it.
Most of the time, you should think about getting a new sports mouth guard every year, or even sooner if it looks like it’s getting worn out. That way, you’re always sure your teeth and mouth get the top protection.
If you’re always on the field or court, or if your sport is pretty intense, you might need a new guard more frequently.
For kids and teenagers who are still growing, they might need new mouth guards more often since their mouths are still changing.
Taking good care of your mouth guard will make it last longer. That means washing it after you use it, keeping it in a special case, and not leaving it out in really hot or cold places.
How to Keep Your Sports Mouth Guard Clean
Keeping your sports mouth guard clean not only makes it last longer, but it also keeps away yucky germs and other tiny creatures that could affect your oral health.
Here’s how to make sure your mouth guard stays squeaky clean:
- Regular Cleaning: Every time you use it, give your mouth guard a good rinse with cold water to get rid of dirt.
- Deep Cleaning: Every week, brush the mouth guard with a toothbrush and a gentle toothpaste to make sure it’s super clean.
- Disinfection: Let your mouth guard sit in a germ-killing solution or mouthwash for a little while. But remember to rinse it well so none of that stuff stays on.
- Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Don’t use things like bleach. They can hurt the mouth guard and are not good for you if any stays on the guard.
- Dry Properly: Once you clean it, let your mouth guard dry all the way before putting it away. This stops more germs from moving in.
- Storage: Put your mouth guard in a case that has holes for air. This keeps it dry and safe from any potential damage.
- Regular Inspection: Every time you clean it, see if your mouth guard has any rips or looks old. If it does, consider getting a new one.
- Avoid Boiling: You might have boiled your mouth guard when you first got it, but don’t do it again. This can mess up its shape and reduce its effectiveness.
What Materials are Sports Mouth Guards Made Of?
Sports mouth guards are made from special materials that are tough, bendy, and safe to use.
Thermoplastic is the main material used in producing sports mouth guards. Why? Because when you heat it up, it gets soft and can be shaped easily to fit your teeth and gums just right.
Thermoplastic preserves its shape after cooling down, fitting your mouth perfectly. This gives you a comfortable fit and top-notch protection when playing sports.
A popular type of thermoplastic used for mouth guards is called Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). Our patients love EVA because it’s flexible, strong, and clear. Plus, it’s super light and acts like a cushion, which is great for protecting your teeth from any hits or bumps.
And don’t worry, these materials are totally safe to put in your mouth!
How Thick is a Sports Mouth Guard?
The thickness of a sports mouth guard depends on design, purpose, and the sport it’s used in.
If you’re playing a sport where there’s a lot of direct hits to the face, like boxing, martial arts, or hockey, you’ll want a thicker mouth guard. These usually measure between 3 to 5mm. They give you a good cushion to help spread out the shock from a hit, so your teeth are safer.
On the other hand, for sports where you’re not getting hit in the face as much, like basketball or baseball, a slimmer mouth guard will do the trick. These are around 1.5 to 3mm thick. They’re comfier and you can talk and breathe easier with them on.
Custom mouth guards allow for a variety in thickness across the device. For example, it might be chunkier over your back teeth for extra safety, but a bit slimmer in the front so it feels better.
Can I Get a Sports Mouth Guard With Braces?
Absolutely! If you have braces, you should definitely consider a sports mouth guard.
When you’re playing sports, braces or other teeth-straightening tools can hurt your lips and cheeks if there’s any contact. That’s where the mouth guard comes in, shielding you from injuries.
But it’s not just about avoiding cuts and scrapes. A good knock during a game can mess up your braces, bending wires or snapping brackets. This could mean pricier fixes and a longer time with your braces on.
The best option? Get a mouth guard that’s specially made for patients with braces. Orthodontists can craft these mouth guards to be soft and flexible enough to fit just right over your braces. This ensures your mouth’s soft parts are safe and sound, without putting too much stress on your braces.
How Do Sports Mouth Guards and Night Guards Differ?
Sports mouth guards and night guards tackle different dental challenges, even though they’re both meant to protect our oral cavities.
The main job of a sports mouth guard is to shield your teeth, gums, lips, and tongue from any bumps or knocks when you’re playing, especially in contact sports.
A night guard concerns patients who unconsciously grind or tightly press their teeth together when they’re sleeping (bruxism).
The night guard slips in between the top and bottom teeth, stopping them from grinding against each other.
These guards are usually cushier than sports guards and are made for comfy all-night wear.
How Much Does a Sports Mouth Guard Cost?
The price tag on a sports mouth guard can swing based on a bunch of factors, like style, where you get it, and how it’s made:
- Over-the-counter mouth guards: You can grab these mouth guards at most sports shops or drugstores. They usually come in limited sizes, often tagged as “youth” or “adult.” They’re the wallet-friendly choice, with costs anywhere from $5 to $50.
- Custom-made mouth guards: Orthodontists whip these up just for you, using a mold of your teeth. This means they fit like a glove. They’re made from top-notch materials, so they last and protect better than the over-the-counter mouth guards. However, superior materials and a custom fit mean a heftier price, often between $100 and $500.
- Dental clinics and orthodontic practices: The price goes up or down depending on where you are, the provider’s reputation, and the type of materials they use. Most dental insurances won’t pay for sports mouth guards unless there’s a medical reason. But, poke around a bit—some plans might slash the price or cover part of it.
- Specialized features: If you want to jazz up your mouth guard with cool straps, nifty designs, or use special materials, be ready to spend a bit more cash.