WHAT IS MOUTH GUARD?
Mouth guards are used as athletic equipment for anyone participating in a sport that involves falls, body contact or flying equipment. This includes football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, gymnastics, mountain biking — any activity that might result in an injury to the mouth.
Mouth guards typically cover the upper teeth, and are designed to protect against broken teeth, cut lips and other damage to your mouth.
What Are the Different Types of Mouth Guards?
No matter which type of mouth guard you choose, it should be resilient, tear-resistant and comfortable. It should also fit properly and not restrict your speech or breathing. The three types of mouth guards are:
- Custom-made mouth guards — These are individually designed and made in your dentist’s office or a professional dental laboratory. Your dentist makes an impression of your teeth and then constructs the mouth guard over a model of them.
- Boil and bite mouth guards — These come in a pre-formed shape that can be altered by boiling the mouth guard in water, then biting into the warm plastic for a customized fit. They can be bought at many sporting goods stores, and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. Follow the directions carefully to avoid winding up with a poor-fitting mouth guard.
- Stock mouth guards — These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and may make breathing and talking difficult.