Contact sports put the smile at risk from bumps, pushes, and punches in the facial region. People who participate in football, boxing, rugby, baseball, and wrestling definitely need to protect their teeth with a mouthguard. However, even lower contact sports can still put the teeth in danger. You should consider wearing a sportsguard during any activity in which the teeth come close to hard surfaces or moving objects.
At Lovell Dental, we also offer customized mouthguards that protect the delicate tooth enamel from nighttime teeth grinding, the condition known as bruxism. Dr. Anderson can create custom fitted occlusal guards or nightguards that, when worn during sleep, cushion the teeth against teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
You can find one-size-fits-all or boil and bite mouthguards and nightguards at the pharmacy, but these devices are not nearly as effective as what you can get with a custom fit. A mouthguard that is created specifically for your smile will fit much better than anything you can buy over the counter, meaning you are more likely to use it as directed -- and your compliance, or frequent use of the mouthguard, is the key to its effectiveness. What’s more, mouthguards that are created specifically for each smile allow for the smooth flow of air throughout the throat and mouth, which is essential during high-activity games. Custom-fitted mouthguards also reduce the instance of concussion compared to store-bought ones. A reduced risk of concussion is a significant benefit for young athletes, especially.
A customized mouthguard can be expected to last for a whole sports season, or about six months, with proper care. Athletes should wear the equipment during every game and practice for the most effective protection. When not in use, a mouthguard should be stored in a breathable, hard container (we can provide you with a ventilated case). Clean the mouthguard before and after each use with a mild hand soap. Using toothpaste can actually scratch the mouthguard. You can also soak the mouthguard in a denture cleanser for additional cleaning.