All About Dental Sports Guards

Dental sport guards in Kingston – a smart choice for your teeth and more

This article discusses different types of mouth guards and how they function to protect your teeth. If you would like to learn more about dental sports guards in Kingston Ontario, contact our team to set up a free consultation.

Mouth guards are an essential part of contact sports. They protect against injuries of the teeth, the cheeks and soft tissues of the tongue, as well as the nasty and often expensive – concussions.

A good mouth guard will give protection against a blow to the cheek and teeth. It should be custom fit for function and tear-resistant. Ideally speech hindrance should be limited and breathing should not be affected.

At the moment, we can distinguish roughly 3 types of mouth protectors: the prefab-mouth protector, the ‘boil and bite’ mouth protector and the custom-made mouth protector.

Types of sports mouth guards

Prefab-mouth protectors

These are the most inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Prefab-mouth protectors are sold in sports stores of different brands and in different models and sizes. They are made of plastic and are made so that they can be worn directly from the package.

Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. Choices is size is very limited, and the wearing comfort is low. Often a constant bite pressure is the only way to keep them in place. This makes it difficult to breath properly during physical activities. Furthermore, there is a danger that the mouth protector will move during a severe collision thus no longer effectively protecting the teeth or preventing concussion.

Cook and bite mouth protectors

Cook and bite protectors are pre-made mouth protectors that are made of a thermoplastic material. They can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. By placing them in hot water, the mouth protector can then be formed in the mouth of the person. As a result, the fit will be better than with a pre-mouth protector.  The disadvantage is that the mouth protector may become thinner than the ideal in spots. As a result, the protective effect can be reduced.

Custom made mouth protectors

Custom made mouth guards provide a comfortable fit and the best protection. Your dentist makes an impression of your teeth and then constructs the mouth guard over a model of them.  Custom sports guards are designed to address individual needs. Age, type of sports activity, level of competition, previous dental injury, orthodontics, erupting teeth, currently missing teeth are all important considerations that influence the design of the sports guard. The price is highest for this type based on the fact that a professional is fitting the mouthguard for you.  The individually manufactured mouth protector is widely worn and recommended as the first choice especially if participating in regular contact sports.  A common choice is a Pro form mouth guard. These are used by both professional and amateur athletes as they offer a high level of protection for teeth, jaws and brain shaking. The thinner material provides an easier breathing and no need for clinging.  Many dentists also allow you to personalize in your favorite colour.

Do I wear it all the time?

A sports guard should be worn at all times during sports activities, including games as well as practice. Next to contact sports, sports such as mountain biking or skating are should also consider the use of a mouth guard.

Mouth protector care

It is usually sufficient to check the mouth protector on a regular base on its condition. Rinse it in cold water after every use, and keep it at a dry place (usually a container is supplied). If the mouth piece is dirty or has a bad taste, you can clean it with a regular toothbrush and toothpaste.

You should always replace your mouth guard when it shows sign of wear, is damaged or ill fitting. It is also a good idea to bring your mouth guard for evaluation when you have a check up at your dentist.

How Long Should Mouth Guards Last?

This depends of the quality of the mouth guard and of the intensity of use. Ideally with a use of several times a week, and a high intensity contact sport, it should be replaced after each season.

For persons who play less intense, the mouth guard needs to be replaced as it wears out, usually about once every few years.

Adolescents and children may need to replace their mouth guards more often because their mouths are still growing and changing.

For more information about mouth guard options, you can contact our Kingston dental office to learn more about the right mouth guard for you.

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