If you play contact sports, you’ve likely experienced a few hard hits. Their results can range from soreness and stiffness, to tendinitis or fractures that may sideline you for a while.
The same way you can hurt bones and joints while being active, your teeth and gums are exposed to trauma. Wearing a mouthguard is a good way to continue doing the things you love while at the same time protecting your mouth.
What’s a Mouthguard?
Mouth guards are mouth coverings made out of different types of plastic. Their purpose is to protect a person’s teeth when playing sports, or if the person has a tendency to grind their teeth.
There are different types of mouthguards: You can purchase generic ones from sporting good stores or you can get custom-fitted ones from your dentist. For the latter kind, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to make sure that the guard fits you well and is as comfortable as possible.
If you’re in a bind and need one ASAP, the generic kind may be helpful. However, since they’re not adjustable, it may be difficult to speak or breath while wearing it. You may also have an additional incentive to get custom-made ones if you wear braces.
Sports You Should Wear a Mouthguard For
If you play any type of contact sport or activity that involves a high-risk of hits or falls, a mouthguard will protect your teeth and tongue from injury. Some examples of these activities include the following:
Mouthguards are also helpful for people who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) when sleeping. This is because this condition often leads to the person to experience jaw pain, as well as wearing down of the tooth enamel.
Can You Sleep With a Mouth Guard?
Yes. In fact, people with bruxism are advised to sleep wearing a mouthguard. And here’s some good news for people who sleep with a partner: Mouthguards also help to reduce snoring.
How Long do Mouth Guards Last?
In ideal conditions, a mouthguard could last between three and five years. However, this will depend on how often you use the mouthguard and how well you take care of it.
Taking Care of Your Mouth Guard
Floss and brush your teeth every single time before using the mouthguard, and brush the mouthguard itself after every use, with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Make sure to only rinse it with cold water, since hot water could alter its shape.
Once clean, dry it thoroughly before putting it away in its plastic container.
What Happens if I Don’t Use a Mouth Guard?
If you don’t use a mouthguard while playing contact sports or if you’re a teeth grinder, you’ll increase your risk of injury. It’s important to keep in mind that injuries to your mouth (teeth, gums, and tongue) can lead to complications, pain when chewing, loose teeth, or infections. If the source of injury is teeth grinding, you’ll end up having chronic jaw pain, facial pain, tension headaches, and damage to your teeth that can lead to tooth sensitivity.
For Dental Care, Contact Impeccable Smiles for Help
At Impeccable Smiles, we understand that visiting the dentist can make you feel anxious. However, one of our top priorities includes making our patients feel welcome and comfortable. We also take into account all aspects of a persons’ health in order to provide the best approach possible.
Call us or fill out our online form, and let us help you take care of your oral health.