Summer is not yet over. Fall sports have begun and many people are still active outdoors.
This means there is still time to protect your teeth from chips, cracks and other damage with a mouth guard.
A mouth guard should be used by anyone who plays contact sports such as football, soccer or basketball. But also consider it for any non-contact sport or recreational activity, like skateboarding, where there is a risk of mouth injury.
“It’s extremely important for dental health for an athlete, or anyone” who runs that risk, said Dr. Eric Salud, lead dentist at Complete Comfort Dental in Channahon
An injury “could also affect your performance. If you break a tooth, you need to see a
dentist the next day. It could also affect the team if you miss a practice or event,” he said.
Mouth guards are generally of three types: stock, from sporting goods or department stores; “boil and bite,” which you can press to form around your teeth after softening in hot water, and custom-made by your dentist.
Dr. Salud recommends custom-made guards because these are fitted exactly to your teeth. Stock guards may not be a good fit, and can be bulky, and while boil-and-bite guards offer a better fit, neither can be adjusted much. The wrong guard also may restrict breathing and talking.
You can get both upper and lower guards, but most are usually fitted for the upper teeth only because they are larger and not as well protected by the jaw and lips. However, an upper guard does provide some protection against upper-lower tooth impacts and, with only an upper guard, it is easier to talk and breathe.
Custom guards are more expensive, but “it’s a better investment than a chipped tooth from an ill-fitting guard,” Dr. Salud said.
Complete Comfort Dental
25445 S. Pheasant Lane, Suite I, Channahon, IL 60410