As a part of the Aurora community, our team at Aurora Hills Dental knows that living an active lifestyle is part of a healthy lifestyle. We see how active the members of our community are, and we’re here to help you stay safe and protect yourself while you enjoy our beautiful Colorado.
Whether you or your child participates in sports or enjoys another physical activity, you might benefit from the protection of an athletic mouthguard.
What Is an Athletic Mouthguard?
Also called a sports guard or simply a mouthguard, athletic mouthguards are plastic dental devices worn over the teeth to help reduce the risk of injuries during physical activities and sports.
Reduce the Risk of Injury With an Athletic Mouthguard
Wearing a protective mouthguard during sports and physical activities protects athletes from incurring dental and facial injuries, including chipped, cracked, and broken teeth, lost teeth, and soft tissue injuries such as a bitten tongue or cheek. Additionally, an athletic mouthguard reduces the impact of the teeth clanking together during more physical sports, which can lower the risk of concussion.
Since you’ll be well-protected during your activities, you’ll be able to participate more fully without the fear of injuring your teeth, mouth, or soft tissues.
Who Should Wear an Athletic Mouthguard?
We recommend athletic mouthguards for any physical activities that risk an impact to the head, face, mouth, teeth, or jawbone. This includes contact sports, activities with flying objects like sticks or balls, and activities where falling could potentially injure the mouth.
Some activities during which athletic mouthguards are strongly recommended include:
- Mountain biking
- Horseback riding
Types of Athletic Mouthguards
There are three basic types of athletic mouthguards to choose from, and each offers varying benefits and drawbacks regarding comfort, fit, effectiveness, and price.
Stock mouthguards are the least expensive option. They’re sold ready-to-wear in basic sizes and offer little when it comes to comfort and fit.
Boil and Bite Mouthguards
Just slightly more expensive than stock mouthguards, boil and bite options can be purchased at any sporting goods store. They come in basic sizes and are then meant to be taken home, boiled, and bit into to somewhat customize how they feel and fit in the wearer’s mouth.
Custom-made mouthguards can be obtained at Aurora Hills Dental. These are more expensive than options purchased in stores, but they offer superior comfort and a completely personalized fit as they are designed and manufactured based on three-dimensional impressions of your mouth.
Custom-made mouthguards are highly recommended for individuals who have orthodontics or oral appliances in their mouths, as they are designed to accommodate and protect these items.
When To Replace Your Athletic Mouthguard
The plastic — especially in store-bought mouthguards — can break down over time, weakening their protection and diminishing their ability to absorb shocks. We recommend replacing your mouthguard (boil and bite or stock) every season.
Additionally, since children are still developing, their jawbones and teeth are constantly moving around and changing. As a result, they usually require a replacement mouthguard at least annually, as well.
Which Athletic Mouthguard Is Right for You or Your Child?
The mouthguard that’s best for you or your child depends on your dental health and history, any dental appliances or orthodontics you currently have, and your preferences regarding comfort and price.
We welcome you to talk with Dr. Zalesky about which type of athletic mouthguard would be the best choice for you or your child. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today.