Photograph of a persons hand holding a blue mouthguard.

Sports Mouthguards: What You Need to Know

Aileen Sideris News Update

Playing sports can be a lot of fun, but you need to have the right protection (even for your teeth). Losing a tooth in a game can be a lasting problem to deal with. That is why many sports teams recommend mouthguards for all of their players. Generic mouthguards offer some protection, but you’ll get the most out of a custom sports mouthguard. Here is what you need to know about sports mouthguards.


They Work Best When Custom Made


The best mouthguards are custom-made for your mouth. It will provide the best support because it will fit your teeth and disperse the force from an impact evenly across your mouth. That means that extra pressure isn’t placed on any single tooth, which could cause it to break or come out. It will also be made to fit in your mouth better, making it easier to keep in place without causing stress for your jaw muscles.


How do you make a Custom Mouthguard?


To make a mouthguard that fits you properly, your dentist will need to make a mold of your mouth using impression material. This mold is used to create a mouthguard specific to your mouth. Newer methods scanning technologies. They create 3D images of your mouth that can be used to design and build a mouthguard.


You Can Make a Mouthguard


Although it is recommended that you go to your dentist to have a custom mouthguard made, you can do it yourself with a boil and bite mouthguard kit. It comes with the mouthguard material formed in the general shape of a mouthguard but without specific characteristics of your mouth and teeth.First, you boil it until it is soft. Then, after it cools enough, you bite into it.The bite will form the mouthguard to the exact shape of your mouth to give you a custom fit. It is an effective solution, but it is not as accurate or well-made as a custom-fit mouthguard.


Stock Mouthguards


If you need a mouthguard quickly, you can always try a stock mouthguard. They are premade to a general shape. They provide some protection, but not as much as custom-fit models. Plus, they tend to have a loose fit, which makes it harder to breathe or talk with it in your mouth. Stock mouthguards are affordable and easy to find. Most sports stores sell them, and you can easily replace one that is lost or damaged. Most people use them until they feel the need for a custom-fit mouthguard.


Replacing Mouthguards


Regardless of how your mouthguard is made, it is important to replace it periodically. Ideally, you should replace it before the start of each season that you play. Mouthguards wear down over time and can deform from constant use. Plus, your mouth grows and your teeth may change over time. It is important to have a well fitting mouthguard to get the best benefit from then possible.


Want to Learn More?


If your child plays a sport that needs a mouthguard, then let us help you keep your child’s teeth safe. Contact Andover Pediatric Dentistry today at 978-296-4964 (Andover office) or 978-682-3342 (Lawrence office).