Our mouth is one of the most important parts of our body. Though we take great care of other parts, it shouldn’t be neglected. This is why mouth care is so important. You don’t want to imagine what you will look like if anything happens to your mouth. One way to adequately take care of the mouth is by using mouthguards.
Mouthguards are soft plastic or laminate devices used to prevent oral injuries to the lips, mouth, tongue, teeth, jaw, and cheeks in case of participation in oral and recreational activities.
Types of mouthguards and which is the best for you?
Mouthguards or mouth protectors cover the upper teeth, lips, cheek lining, and soft tissue of the tongue. You must know the right mouthguard for you before heading to get one.
- Custom-made mouthguard: A custom-made mouthguard designed for you by your orthodontist or dentist is the best mouthguard you should go for. They are created for comfort and fit and are more expensive. Custom-made mouthguards for children can last one or two years before the need for remolding to fit their jaw starts to arise.
- Stock or standard mouthguards: These mouthguards are less expensive and come shaped and assembled, ready to wear. They tend to be heavy and make talking and breathing difficulties due to lack of quality. It can take a while before you get the one that fits perfectly.
- Boil and bite mouthguards: They are mostly found at sports stores and drug stores, and they are better than custom or standard mouthguards because they have more fittings. Before use, boil and bite mouthguards are softened in hot water and then inserted in the mouth to be shaped and molded for fit. Hence the name “boil and bite.” Thinking about the durability of the boil and bite mouthguards? They last up to three sections of the sports season before the plastic collapse because of their flexible nature. For this mouthguard, remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions before use.
When should you wear a mouthguard?
A mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic equipment that should be included in your standard gear from the very beginning. Whether a child or an adult, mouthguards are necessary for all athletes. Injuries are bound to happen in contact sports like boxing and wrestling. Also, injuries can occur in non-contact activities like skating and gymnastics.
Mouthguards for your braces
Having braces does not prevent you from playing games or wearing mouthguards; having a properly fixed mouthguard to protect the fixed bridgework and teeth matters. A blow on the face can destroy the bracket or other stable orthodontic attachments. Mouthguards can also be used for protective obstacles between the gum, cheeks, metal wiring of the brace, and lips. A custom-made mouthguard reduces the risk of injuries for a player with braces.
Mouthguard care and replacement
Your dental dentist is in the best position to tell you the right time to replace your mouthguard. But when you notice damage, ill-fitting, and wear, they need to be replaced. Because of the growth in children and teens, they may need to replace theirs more often.
Here are some tips on how to care for your mouthguards.
- Always keep your mouthguard dry and clean.
- Transport and store in a container with vents to dry easily and fight off bacteria.
- Brush with a toothbrush or toothpaste or clean with soapy water, then rinse before and after each use.
- Do not leave them in the sun or hot water.
- Always check for signs of wear and tear and replace if need be.