There are many contact sports, such as football, hockey, and boxing, in which the use of a mouthguard is essential for preventing oral injuries. However, you may be wondering if you really need to wear a mouthguard if you’re not playing a contact sport.
The answer is that it depends on your individual situation. If you have braces or another type of dental appliance, you may be at a higher risk for oral injuries and should consider wearing a mouthguard. If you have a history of teeth grinding (bruxism), you may also benefit from wearing a mouthguard at night to protect your teeth.
Talk to your dentist about your specific risks and whether or not they recommend that you wear a mouthguard. They can help you choose the right type of custom mouthpiece for your needs and make sure that it fits properly.
Why are mouthguards important?
Mouthguards are important because they protect your teeth, gums, and jaws from injury. They can also help to reduce the severity of an injury if one does occur.
There are three main types of mouthguards:
- Stock mouthguards– These are the least expensive and most readily available type of mouthguard. They come in pre-formed sizes and can be bought at most sporting goods stores.
- Boil-and-bite mouthguards– These are made from a thermoplastic material that you boil to soften and then mold to the shape of your teeth. When done correctly, boil-and-bite mouthguards provide a good fit and adequate protection.
- Custom-made mouthguards-These are made from impressions of your teeth and provide the best fit and protection. They are more expensive than stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards but are worth the investment if you are at a high risk for oral injuries.
If you decide to wear a mouthguard, be sure to clean it regularly and replace it when it starts to show signs of wear. Mouthguards can last for several years if they are properly cared for but will need to be replaced more frequently if you use them on a daily basis.
How often should I replace my mouthguard?
Mouthguards should be replaced every 1-2 years, or sooner if they start to show signs of wear. If you use your mouthguard on a daily basis, you may need to replace it more frequently.
Be sure to clean your mouthguard regularly and store it in a cool, dry place when you’re not using it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care and replacement.
How to get the best fit?
The best way to get a mouthguard that fits well is to have one custom-made by your dentist. They will take impressions of your teeth and create a mouthguard that is specifically designed for you.
If you decide to go with stock or boil-and-bite mouthguard, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. These types of mouthguards need to be fitted correctly to provide adequate protection.
What are the benefits of wearing a mouthguard?
There are many benefits to wearing a mouthguard, including:
- Protection from oral injuries– Mouthguards protect your teeth, gums, and jaws from injury. They can also help to reduce the severity of an injury if one does occur.
- Reduced risk of concussion– A properly fitted mouthguard can help to reduce the risk of concussion by absorbing some of the impacts.
- Comfort– Mouthguards provide a cushion between your teeth and help to absorb shock, which can make them more comfortable to wear.
- Improved performance– Some research has shown that mouthguards can improve athletic performance by providing a better fit and increasing airflow to the lungs.
- Better sleep– If you grind your teeth at night (bruxism), a mouthguard can help to protect your teeth and allow you to sleep more comfortably.
These are just a few of the benefits of wearing a mouthguard. Talk to your dentist about whether or not they think a mouthguard is right for you.