How Mouth-Guards Help Protect Athletes
Today one of my Athletic patients asked me about mouth guards and how mouth guards can help to protect her teeth.
Our mission as your family dentist is to improve your oral health and, generally speaking, protect your mouth from any unpredictable injuries and parafunctional habits.
A properly fitted mouth guard must be protective, comfortable, resilient, tear resistant, odorless, tasteless, well fitting, and cause minimal interference to speaking and breathing – a critical aspect of any sport.
Unfortunately, the term “mouth guard” is universal and includes a large range of products from the over-the-counter boil and bite models to the professionally manufactured and custom fit sports mouth guards provided by our practice. GENERIC over-the-counter sports mouth guards DO NOT provide the same protection available from a properly fitted custom made sports mouth guard at our office.
To get a custom fit mouth guard, our patients visit our Coquitlam dental office for two appointments. The first is only 30 minutes long when our assistant takes an impression of your upper and lower teeth using a quick setting polymer gel. Then at the second appointment, about a week later, we will have you try in the mouth guard and we will adjust any areas of tightness or discomfort.
It’s important to note that all sports mouth guards should be replaced after 24 months or two ‘seasons’ of play because they can wear down over time, making them less effective.
Replacement sports guards are especially important for adolescents because their mouths continue to grow as their teeth develop into adulthood. Many athletes who play different sports order new mouth guards from our dental office every six months as part of their routine dental check-up.