Playing a sport is a great way to get outside, get some exercise, and spend time with friends who share the same interest. They are also great for people of all ages, from young children to adults. Many types of sports, while fun, can pose a risk for serious injury. Wearing the appropriate protective gear is crucial. Depending upon the sport, this can mean shin guards, elbow and knee pads, and a helmet. While a helmet can protect your head from injuries, your mouth needs its protection to prevent harm to your teeth, your jaw, and your intraoral tissues. At OHIOSmiles, we can help you to protect your mouth during sports with a mouthguard.
What Is A Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is an oral device that is made to be worn over your teeth while you play any type of sport where there is a risk of injury, including football, lacrosse, martial arts, and wrestling. The job of the mouthguard is to absorb the impact of facial injuries while you play, helping to protect your teeth, your intraoral tissues, and your jawbone.
Types Of Mouthguards
There are a few different types of mouthguards available.
- Stock. A stock mouthguard is the most affordable option and can be found at sporting goods stores everywhere. These mouthguards are pre-molded, however, meaning they might not fit properly. An ill-fitting mouthguard can increase your risk for injury as well as cause complications with breathing.
- Boil and bite. A boil and bite is another widely available mouthguard. This type of mouthguard is made to be dropped in boiling water and bitten into so that you can fit your mouthguard to your teeth.
- Custom. We provide custom mouthguards for you or your little athlete. Using the highest quality materials, we create a mouthguard that fits perfectly in your mouth and takes your bite into consideration. While custom mouthguards cost more, they provide the greatest protection.
Benefits Of Mouthguard
A mouthguard provides you, or your child, with several benefits.
- Your teeth are protected from the higher risks of chips, cracks, displacement, and avulsion.
- Your intraoral tissues are protected from lacerations and other injuries. This also helps to protect the nerves, blood vessels, and the salivary glands and ducts.
- Your jaw is protected from fractures and dislocation.
- Your risk of a concussion is greatly reduced.
Caring For A Mouthguard
For your mouthguard to provide you with optimal protection, it is essential that you take good care of it. Rinse the mouthguard underwater before and after each use. Brush it regularly with toothpaste or clean it with soap and water.
When your mouthguard is not in use, it should be stored in a hard, protective case. The case should have ventilation holes, which will allow airflow to prevent bacteria from building up. Keep the case in a safe location, where small hands or playful pets cannot reach. It is important that you do not expose the mouthguard to high heat or direct sunlight, as these elements can reduce its effectiveness. Regularly inspect the mouthguard for signs of damage. At the first sign, it is time to replace it.
Oral Appliances For Bruxism
We can also provide an oral appliance for bruxism. These appliances are made to correct and alleviate the pain in your jaw associated with the condition and TMJ.
If you are interested in learning more about custom fit mouthguards and how they can benefit you, call OHIOSmiles at (740) 439-2501 today for more information.