Whether you wear braces or not, protecting your smile while playing sports is essential. Injuries to the mouth and jaw are among the most common injuries suffered by athletes.
Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums. If you participate in basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, or wrestling, the American Dental Association recommends you wear a mouthguard.
Types of mouthguards
Choosing the right mouthguard is important. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard. When you choose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, well fitted for your mouth and easy to keep clean.
Also make sure it does not prevent you from breathing properly during use. If you wear braces or a retainer, it is imperative for you to wear a mouthguard. One of our Omaha dentists can show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect your smile.
Taking care of your mouthguard
Similar to a retainer, braces, or any other special dental appliance, it is important to take care of your mouthguard by storing it properly and keeping it clean. You should also know when to replace your old mouthguard with a new one.
Here are a few simple ways to keep your mouthguard clean and working correctly:
- Gently scrub your mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Store it in a protective case.
- Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water; it may melt or become deformed.
- Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season. You should also replace it if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
- Do not wear a retainer with your mouthguard. If you wear braces, your dentist will design a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces.
- Do not chew on or cut pieces off your mouthguard.
- Bring your mouthguard to each dental checkup, and your dentist can check to make sure it’s still in good shape.
Our goal is to minimize your chances of a sports-related injury. Be sure to ask us about mouthguards at your next checkup. GO TEAM!