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Why It's Important To Wear Mouth Guards During Sports
Posted on 03/10/2016

As a leading provider of pediatric orthodontics in the San Anselmo area, our practice treats many children and teenagers using the latest orthodontic appliances. Now that spring is near, many of our young patients will be gearing up to play sports at school and during their free time, which is something we’re very proud of.

We would like to remind all our young patients and their families how important it is to wear protective mouth guards when playing sports. When a mouth guard is worn, the teeth, face and jaws are protected against injury in the case of a blow to the face or a fall. Even our patients wearing braces should wear protective mouth guards to ensure that your brackets and wires are safe from potential damage. There are special mouth guards for sale at most sporting goods stores and online that are made specifically to fit over braces.

How A Mouth Guard Helps

A mouth guard is designed to cushion blows to the face and mouth in order to protect the teeth and jaws from injury. A mouth guard works as a barrier to reduce the impact of a blow. When you're wearing a mouth guard, you will be protecting yourself from all types of injuries including:

  • Chipped, cracked and broken teeth
  • Lost teeth
  • Cuts to the tongue, lips or cheeks due to sudden biting 
  • Jaw injuries including jaw dislocation and fractures
  • Broken brackets and/or wires

Who Should Wear a Mouth Guard

Kids and teens who play organized sports of all types including football, soccer, basketball and hockey should wear protective mouth guards. Mouth guards should also be worn by anyone who participates in activities that may involve falling when running or which involve coming into close contact with others. For instance, a mouth guard should be worn when skateboarding, wrestling, inline skating, riding BMX and when playing games like paintball, racquetball and tennis. In short, a mouth guard should be worn whenever you're playing organized sports or when you're participating in activities that pose a risk of injury to the mouth.

Choosing a Mouth Guard

There are several different types of mouth guards available including “bite and boil” mouth guards, “stock” mouth guards and custom-made mouth guards. The stock mouth guards are not recommended as they simply do not provide enough protection. Bite and boil mouth guards are a better choice as they fit over the teeth better for more protection. The best type of mouth guard is one that is custom-made just for you by your dentist using an impression of your teeth. Please note that if you're currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, we don't recommend custom made or bite and boil mouth guards as they will restrict your teeth from moving. 

Just be sure the mouth guard you choose to wear fits snugly over your teeth and allows you to breathe and speak normally. Your mouth guard should fit properly, be durable and easy to clean. It's important to replace a mouth guard when it becomes worn out or when it doesn't fit properly anymore.

Contact Haney Orthodontics Today

A mouth guard is a very inexpensive piece of sporting goods equipment that offers an invaluable amount of protection to your mouth, teeth and jaws. If you have any questions about mouth guards or how to choose one, please don't hesitate to contact us as we're always happy to help you!