Mouth guards are an important part of keeping your teeth healthy and safe when you or your children play sports or other activities that could cause harm to your teeth and mouth. Mostly intended for contact-heavy sports like football and hockey, mouth guards can also be beneficial to those engaged in sports involving frequent falling like skateboarding or gymnastics. Mouth guards can protect against damage to both the upper and lower teeth. By preventing dental damage you can save yourself thousands of dollars in dental treatments and can even prevent developing serious issues like gum disease. As the National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries reports, dental injuries are the most common type of face and mouth injury. Furthermore, the American Dental Association says that over 200,000 injures are prevented every year from using mouth guards just in high school and college football. There are a few different types of mouth guards to consider when choosing for yourself or a loved one. Dr. Greg Williams, a Tigard Dentist, can help create and find the right choice for you.
Don’t Go Stock
Stock mouth guards are most commonly found in sporting good stores. These are frequently the cheapest option available. These guards come pre-molded and are not adjustable. This option is ready-to-wear out the stores but they can be unwieldy and could even affect talking or breathing in some cases. As these types of guards lack the ability to retain form, and are held in place by constantly biting down on them, they are not recommend and provide very little defense against dental injuries. Some athletes do try to alter them through cutting and shaping the guards themselves, but this type of procedure can considerably reduce their protectiveness.
Boil and Bite Is A Bit Better
Boil and bite refers to the molding process that helps forms this type of mouth guard. These kinds of guards can also be found in many sporting good stores. Boil and bite guards are meant to be placed in hot water to soften them and then put in the mouth where they take their shape. By holding it in place with your fingers and the tongue it, a fit is achieved. It is very important with boil and bite mouth guards to follow the directions to the letter to get the best results. Though these are the most commonly used mouth guards, they do only come in a few sizes and sometimes do not cover all the teeth. Again, users also sometimes try to modify this type of guard and can end up with areas of teeth lacking proper coverage.
Custom Fit Is Best
A custom fit mouth guard is the best option for your teeth. With this type of guard the dentist takes a mold and measures your teeth. Then a specialized lab creates a mouth guard to specifically fit your individual mouth size and shape. Your dentist will also talk with you about things like dental history and the type of activity or sport you will be using it for when they are creating a custom guard. These guards will have the best fit, and though they may cost a bit more then those off the rack, they will provide the best protection for your teeth.
Tigard dentist Dr. Greg Williams can talk with you about your mouth guard needs. Call or contact our office today for an appointment