Traumatic injuries from recreational sports frequently involve the face and teeth. High school and college athletes are often required by sports organizations to wear a mouth guard in order to prevent lip lacerations and fractured teeth, but not all mouth guards are created equal. Choosing a properly fitted mouthguard is the only way to ensure that the device will do what it’s meant to: protect the athlete.
Finding the right guard can be difficult. There are several over the counter guards available at sporting good retailers, but these guards are made in a way so that they will fit into nearly any size or shape of mouth. As a result, the bulky guard is uncomfortable, tedious to wear and isn’t worn at all. Bulky guards fail to protect the teeth when trauma occurs, and can fall out, preventing injury from recurrent trauma.
The best mouth guard will fit securely in place, be comfortable and allow the athlete to speak, breathe or drink water while wearing it without needing to take it out. Your dentist can create a custom mouth guard that will stay in place by gently hugging individual teeth in a way that makes it easy to wear throughout your activity. Not only does a professionally made mouth guard protect you from fracturing your teeth, it also prevents lip trauma and possibly even reduces the risk of concussions.
For adults, a custom guard can last years. Younger patients require a new guard each season due to their growing, developing mouth. Improperly fitting guards can alter the position of the teeth and jaws, increasing the risk for injuries. Having a guard made is simple, just a quick impression is all that is needed and within a few days you’re ready to get active!
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