The safety of our patients is important to us here at Noles Family Dental. That is why we recommend that every patient involved in sports should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth and mouths.
What Are Athletic Mouthguards?
Sports mouthguards are molded out of thin, plastic material to fit securely over the top of the teeth. The athletic mouthguard acts as a shield should the mouth or head be hit during gameplay or practice.
The type of protection the mouthguard provides depends on your injury. A mouthguard can prevent injury to the teeth, gums, tongue and cheeks by acting as a cushion and reducing the impact of a direct hit or blow. Should a collision, blow or hit cause the sudden movement of the head or jaw, a mouthguard can prevent the top and bottom teeth from hitting each other. The mouthguard can also prevent the teeth from damaging the soft tissue in your mouth, such as your cheeks.
Who Should Wear an Athletic Mouthguard?
Our dental team recommends athletic mouthguards for any patient who takes part in a sport where there is a chance that the head could be hit either by other players or pieces of equipment.
Some examples of sports where athletic mouthguards should be worn include:
- Martial arts
We also recommend mouthguards for those who engage in lower-impact sports, but there is a high risk for head injuries. Examples of these types of low-impact, high-risk sports include gymnastics, skiing, skydiving, surfing and skateboarding.
Custom Mouthguards vs. Store Bought Mouthguards
Many stores carry mouthguards that are available for purchase. While store-bought, ready-made mouthguards provide some protection against sports injuries, they aren’t the most effective. For maximum protection, we recommend a custom mouthguard.
A store-bought mouthguard with this “one-size-fits-all” design may fit in your mouth and appear to cover your teeth and gums, but you are still at risk of experiencing an injury because of the lack of a secure fit and the material used.
The thicker, bulkier plastic material also makes store-bought mouthguards uncomfortable to wear. If an athlete is uncomfortable wearing their mouthguard, they may avoid using it which increases their risk of getting injured.
Over-the-counter mouthguards don’t securely fit to the teeth and gums. The lack of a secure fit means the mouthguard can shift and move around in the mouth. This constant movement prevents the mouthguard from providing maximum protection against injuries.
A custom athletic mouthguard created by our dentists, Drs. Noles, Estes, and Sullivan can solve the above issues. Custom athletic mouthguards are made of thinner material, making them more comfortable to wear. They are also specifically made to fit your mouth’s unique shape, size, and structure so that every area is properly protected.
Athletic Mouthguards for Top and Bottom Teeth
Athletic mouthguards are most commonly placed over the top teeth. However, they can also be used to cover the bottom teeth.
Wearing a mouthguard on the bottom teeth can provide you with protection when engaging in sports where you are at risk of being hit in the head and the jaw. For these types of sports, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard that protects both the top and bottom teeth.
It is also recommended that athletes who have orthodontic braces wear a mouthguard on both the top and bottom. The wires and brackets of your braces put you at a higher risk for experiencing soft tissue injury should your head get hit. Wearing a top and bottom mouthguard provides maximum protection while also preventing damage to your braces.
Custom Mouthguards in Greensburg, IN
Athlete safety is extremely important to us at Noles Family Dental. Our dentists will educate you on protecting your teeth and gums while you take part in your favorite sport. We will also help you determine what type of mouthguard will provide you with the best protection.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to speak with our dental staff about athletic mouthguards.