If you, or your child are involved in sports, you should speak with your dentist about wearing a mouthguard. Many leagues and school districts have made mouthguards mandatory pieces of equipment for contact sports. However if you play any sport where there is a chance of an impact to your mouth and teeth, you should consider wearing a mouthguard. If you wear braces, it is especially important that you protect not only your teeth, but your dental work.
There are three kinds of mouthguards: stock, boil and bite, and custom. Stock mouthguards are available in sporting goods and retail stores. They are ready to use as soon as they are purchased, but offer minimal protection. Boil and bite mouthguards can be purchased in stores. They offer slightly better protection. These are placed in boiling water and when they have sufficiently cooled, you bite down on them so that they conform to the shape of your mouth. Custom mouthguards offer the best possible protection. They are made by your dentist or in a dental lab from an impression made from your teeth.
Once you have your mouthguard, you should rinse and brush your teeth and the mouthguard before and after you use it. Doing so will prevent cross-contamination between your mouth and the guard. Your mouthguard should be kept in a vented case so that the air can reach it.
Resist the temptation to chew on your mouthguard, since that can create holes and cracks in which bacteria can breed. If your mouthguard becomes cracked or pitted, you should replace it, and you should get a new mouthguard at the start of every sports season.
If you or your child needs a mouthguard for sports or recreation, contact our dentist, Dr. Matthew Fethke. To make an appointment at High Desert Dental in Boise, Idaho, call 208-343-4732 today. We look forward to seeing you soon!