It’s time for summer sports – so don’t let an injury spoil your fun! Protect yourself and your children with a mouth guard. A mouth guard acts as a cushion and will help to prevent a tooth from being knocked out or fractured and prevent trauma to the soft tissue and jaw bone. By absorbing the shock of a blow, the mouth guard may also help prevent a concussion of the brain or dislocation of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). A mouth guard is required for several sports: field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse and boxing. It is also recommended for many other sports, such as baseball, basketball, racquetball and soccer.
There are several types of mouth guards. The least expensive is a Stock Mouth Guard, usually bought at a sports store. This type of pre-formed appliance is bulky and it cannot be adjusted. It fits poorly and it can easily be dislodged. Another type of appliance is the Boil and Bite appliance. It is also relatively inexpensive and fits better than the stock appliance. But it deteriorates over time and the fit is still not the best.
I recommend a Custom Fitted Appliance for my Long Island dental patients who are athletic. The custom appliance has the most accurate fit and it is the most comfortable. It also provides the best protection and is the most durable. In order to provide this appliance, I take impressions of the mouth and my laboratory fabricates a custom mouth piece.
Mouth guards should only be worn while playing sports. Check the mouth guard for damage after you wear it. If it is damaged, it should be replaced. Don’t chew on the mouth guard. Keep it clean with toothbrush and toothpaste so there is no bacteria buildup. Have a safe and happy summer!