What are mouthguards?

Mouthguards are a type of personal protective device designed to protect athletes’ teeth and jaw. Mouthguards are typically made from a combination of plastic, metal, and other materials. They can be helpful in preventing concussions or dental injuries that may result from sports.

Who uses mouthguards?

Mouthguards are designed for use by athletes participating in many different sporting activities such as football, hockey, boxing, and others. Some people even wear them to help prevent the spread of dental diseases in their mouths. Because of the potential health benefits and minimal cost, mouthguards are often recommended for children from age 6 through high school.

How do they work?

The mechanism by which mouthguards protect athletes is not fully understood. However, there are several theories to help explain how the mouthguards shield teeth and jaw. The most common theory is that they prevent tooth fractures and jaw injuries by creating a shock-absorbing barrier to teeth fractures or impact to the jaw. The theory is that the pressure wave of a hit is absorbed by the flexible materials in the guard so only low pressures reach the teeth. This can reduce the chances of damage to teeth and help reduce concussions. 

How do I know what mouthguard I need?

To determine which mouthguard is correct for you, you should consult a dentist. The dentist can examine your current oral health and let you know if it would be beneficial to wear a mouthguard. When choosing a mouthguard for yourself, there are several factors you will want to consider. The dentist can help you determine the fit, feel, and protection of the mouthguard when making a decision.

What style of mouthguard is best?

There are many different styles of mouthguards. When shopping for your own mouth guard, it may be beneficial to get the advice of your dentist. Your dentist will be able to tell you which style will work best for your teeth.

How do I store mouthguards?

Make sure the mouthguards are kept in a dry, cool place and do not freeze. You should store the plastic in the container that it came in. The metal mouthguard should be stored in an airtight container or bag to prevent rust and corrosion.

What parts of my teeth can be protected by a mouthguard?

Your dentist can help you determine which teeth should be covered by your guard. Generally, your dentist will recommend this depending on your sporting activity. For example, if you are playing hockey, you will need a lid covering most of your

front teeth. If you play football, most of the front teeth may be protected. Mouthguards will generally include protection for the upper and lower teeth.

Does a mouthguard is required if I have braces?

Some dentists recommend that you wear a mouthguard while wearing braces. Some types of braces prevent the teeth from fitting into their intended positions, which can increase the risk of small or broken teeth when athletes hit and impact their teeth. However, if you want to wear a mouthguard while having braces, it is recommended that you get help from your dentist.

How long should I wear my mouthguard?

Some schools require athletes to wear mouthguards during practice or games, especially during practices where contact is the most frequent. Some schools require their athletes to always wear a full mouthguard, even when doing non-contact activities. Talking with your dentist about how long you should wear your guard at a time may be beneficial.

Other times you may need a mouthguard because of an injury. For example, if you have an injury to your mouth, you may need a guard to protect you from the injury. Mouthguards are also useful in situations where there is a high risk of an orthodontic problem forming that could lead to loss of bone or teeth.

Another possible reason for needing a guard is if you play sports like boxing or hockey which places strain on the mouth and jaw joints.