Imagine what it would be like if you suddenly lost one or two of your front teeth. Smiling, talking, eating, everything would suddenly be affected. Knowing how to prevent injuries to the mouth and face is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities.
Mouthguards, also called mouth guards, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of tooth fracture and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. They usually cover the upper teeth and are an excellent way to protect the soft tissues of the tongue, lips and the lining of the cheeks. “Their upper teeth carry the worst part of the trauma because they stick out more,” says Dr. Thomas Long, a private practice dentist and dentist on the professional hockey team team at the Carolina Hurricanes. “Your lower teeth are a little more protected because they are further back.”
The best mouth guard is one that has been made to fit your mouth by your dentist. However, if it can not be paid for with a custom-made mouth guard, you should still use a standard mouth guard or a boil and bite mouthpiece at the pharmacy. Learn more about each option:
- Made to measure: these are made by your dentist for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions because they are created individually for your adjustment and comfort.
- Boil and bite: These mouth guards can be purchased at many sporting goods stores and pharmacies, and may offer a better fit than common mouth guards. First they soften in water (boiled), then they are inserted and they are allowed to adapt to the shape of their mouth. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. CustMbite MVP and CustMbite Pro are boiled mouth guards that have earned the ADA Acceptance Seal.
- Stock: These are cheap and come pre-formed, ready to use. Unfortunately, they often do not fit very well. They can be bulky and can hinder breathing and speech.