What would it be like to lose some of your beloved teeth? While it may be endearing to be missing those two front teeth when you’re a toddler, it’s a much larger hassle as a teen or adult. If you love your sports, there’s really only one choice: a mouthguard.
What is a Mouth Guard?
A mouthguard is a hardened, cushioned mold that fits closely over the upper teeth of an athlete. If an athlete takes a blow to the head, the protection a mouth guard provides can reduce the risk of injuries like broken or chipped teeth, a broken jaw or cuts inside the mouth or on the tongue. They’re mandatory for contact sports like football, hockey or boxing, and are also common in basketball as well.
What Types are there?
There are three main types of mouth guards that you can purchase:
- The ready-made mouthguard is not molded in any way and comes in standard sizes. They’re pre-formed and need no additional customization.
- A “boil and bite” mouth guard is made of a thermoplastic material, which becomes soft and pliable when placed into hot water. Once they’ve been heated, they are placed in the mouth and using biting pressure and fingers, you can mold them to your liking. These are the most common type of mouth guard.
- Custom mouth guards are created by a dentist or a dental laboratory. The dental professional will take an impression with a tray and putty substance, then use that impression and plaster to create the final mold. The mold will be used to create the final mouth guard, custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth.
Are They Worth It?
We here at Macdonald & Whaley don’t want to see any of our young patients get injured, and a good mouthguard is a great investment for protecting your teeth. Would you rather be penny-wise or pound-foolish? A single chipped tooth means a trip to the dentist’s office, something that could be prevented by a mouth guard. If a tooth is actually broken, root canals or implants may come into play. A mouth guard is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment for any athlete playing contact sports, and can prevent all sorts of injuries for your kids.