How do I choose a mouth guard?
there different kinds of mouth guards?
do I care for my mouth guard?
shown that the part of the body most prone to injury in sports is the
mouth. Many of these injuries could be prevented if the participants would
wear proper headgear, helmets, or a properly fitted mouth guard. There are
more than 5 million teeth knocked out (avulsed
each year because of an injury in sports. An athlete is sixty times
more likely to damage their teeth if they are not wearing a mouth guard.
Every athlete involved in contact sports has about a 10% chance per season
of an oralfacial injury. During an athletic career, there is a 35 – 56%
chance of sustaining an oralfacial injury. The results of a dental injury
can be painful, costly, and permanent.
Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouth guards for the following
sports: Acrobatics, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics,
handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey,
rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash,
surfing, volleyball, water polo, weight lifting, and wrestling.
1) How do I choose a
important a mouth guard should:
a) Provide maximum protection
from a traumatic injury.
b) It should remain in place
during sports activity.
c) It should not interfere with
breathing or speech.
d) It should be comfortable to
e) It should be easy to clean.
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2) Are there
different kinds of mouth guards?
There are three types of
made – These mouth guards cost the least and can be purchased in athletic
stores, sports stores, and discount stores. While they can offer some
protection, they are not as effective as the following types of mouth
guards. They come in standard sizes; little can be done to adjust them to
fit your mouth. A major complaint is they are bulky, loose, uncomfortable,
and can interfere with breathing and speaking.
Self-adapted – This type of mouth guard can be relatively inexpensive and
can be found in the same type of stores as the “ready made”. The major
difference is they are molded to fit each individual’s mouth. This is done
by boiling the mouthpiece in water, then biting into the warm plastic. One
of the nice features of this type of mouth guard is they can be refitted.
If, on the first try, the mouth guard does not fit you can reheat it and try
again. This type of mouth guard is better than the “ready made” but there
are still some disadvantages. As with the “ready made” the mouth guard can
feel bulky and can cause difficulty with breathing or speaking.
made – By far the most highly recommended type
of mouth guard is the “custom made”. It can be made by your family dentist
where it is specifically designed and constructed for the patient. Of
course, it is a bit more expensive, but it will offer a number of
advantages. It will have an exceptionally good fit, it will be comfortable,
and should not interfere with speech or breathing.
3) How do I care for
my mouth guard?
a) You should rinse the mouth guard under
cold water after each use.
b) You should occasionally clean your mouth
guard in a solution of soap and cool water.
c) You should store it in a container
containing water so it will not be damaged or lost.
b) You should inspect your mouth guard on a
regular basis to determine if there has been any damage. As with any sports
gear your mouth guard will tear or wear out. You should replace them when
there is any sign of damage. Some recommend you replace the mouth guard
after each sports season. If your sporting activity is a year round event,
you should constantly monitor the condition of your mouth guard.
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