Protect Your Student Athlete’s Smile With A Custom Mouthguard
- September 28, 2017
High school football season may already be underway, but there’s still plenty of time to get mouthguards for your student athletes this school year.
Studies show that a properly fitting mouthguard minimizes athletes’ risk of injuries to the teeth, jaw, and mouth. In certain Connecticut athletic conferences, mouthguards are mandatory for sports like football, lacrosse, and field hockey — but many parents consider them a small insurance policy against dental trauma related to all sorts of sports and other recreational activities.
Read on to find out why custom-made mouthguards can protect your student’s smile better than those you’ll find over-the-counter, as well as how Gentle Dental Care in Plainville, CT can help. Give us a call at (860) 479-2397.
Does My Student Need A Mouthguard?
It makes sense that athletes participating in contact sports, like boxing, should wear mouthguards. But a mouthguard can also prevent dental injuries in non-contact activities, like gymnastics, skating, and mountain biking. Plus, for athletes with braces, mouthguards can protect your orthodontic investment by preventing brackets from dislodging.
Increasingly, the governing bodies of various sports are mandating mouthguards, saying they’re just as important as any of the other equipment needed to play the game. Review your team’s guidelines and talk to your coach. Even if a mouthguard isn’t mandatory, consider getting one for the health and safety of your athlete. The ADA estimates that a third of all dental injuries are sports-related, and use of a mouthguard prevents more than 200,000 injuries each year.
How Should A Mouthguard Fit?
If mouthguard doesn’t fit properly, it can be just as bad as if you’re not wearing one. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, a properly fitting mouthguard should:
- Protect and separate biting surfaces.
- Protect and support all of the upper teeth.
- Be a visible color other than white to allow for enforcement in sports where wearing a mouthguard is mandatory.
- Not impede communication or breathing.
Over-The-Counter Vs. Custom Mouthguards
There are mouthguards at every price point, although the American Dental Association recommends investing in one that is custom-made by a dental professional. Here are some options you can consider:
- Stock. These ready-to-wear mouthguards are commonly found in sporting goods stores and while they do cover orthodontic work and the price is tempting — as low as $5 or $10 — it’s true that you get what you pay for. They generally don’t fit well, are easily dislodged, and can interfere with breathing.
- Boil and Bite. These protectors allow for more customized protection than stock mouthguards. As the name implies, you soften the device in water and then make an impression by biting down on the mouthguard.
- Custom-made. These cost more but they offer the best fit and protection because they are made specifically for your bite.
At Gentle Dental Care, we can create customized mouthguards for sports and other recreational activities to protect your teeth from impact. We offer different levels of protection depending on the intensity of the sport, and we’ll even customize your mouthguard with your name and choice of colors.
Caring For Your Mouthguard
If you do invest in a custom-made mouthguard, it’s important to properly care for it so it’ll perform game after game.
Here are some things you can do to ensure lasting fit and function:
- To keep your mouthguard clean between games, rinse it before and after each use, or brush it using toothpaste.
- Occasionally clean the device with cool, soapy water.
- Store your mouthguard in a sturdy, well-ventilated container.
- Don’t leave your mouthguard in the sun.
- Store it out of reach of pets.
- Replace your mouthguard upon any sign of wear, damage or problematic fit.
Success On The Field Starts With Gentle Dental Care
If you’re ready to ditch your ill-fitting athletic mouthguard in favor of greater protection, our knowledgeable team can help. Choose Gentle Dental Care for custom-made mouthguards and all your comprehensive dental needs.
When we help you prevent dental injuries, everybody wins! Schedule an appointment by calling (860) 479-2397.