Sports mouthguards are beneficial for patients who play contact sports. Patients must wear a mouthguard for any sport with contact between players, including lacrosse, hockey, basketball, or soccer. Wearing a custom sports mouthguard protects teeth and metal braces from damage. Hits to the face can result in breaks, cracks, fractures, and even tooth loss. Our office offers customized sports mouthguards as a general dental treatment for patients of all ages in Burke, VA.
Receiving a Custom Sports Mouthguard in Burke, VA
We take accurate dental impressions to create customized sports mouthguards. Our dentists send these impressions to a dental lab that creates the mouthguard from flexible, rubber-like plastic. Once the mouthguard is complete, we fit them over patients’ teeth to ensure comfort and proper fit.
Why Do I Need a Custom Mouthguard?
Mouthguards are crucial for protecting your teeth when you’re playing sports. The American Dental Association estimates that 200,000 oral injuries are prevented just in high school and college football each year by sports mouthguards. If you don’t wear a mouthguard while playing contact sports, you’re 60 times more likely to experience an oral injury. Some sports require you to wear a mouthguard because they’re known to be activities that are harmful to the mouth.
There are all sorts of different oral injuries you can encounter when you’re playing sports. These include broken teeth, fractured jawbones, and soft tissue damage, like biting down on your tongue during a game. Mouthguards can also help to dull injuries with your head or neck that can be worsened by your teeth slamming together.
Custom Vs. Store-Bought Mouthguards
You can find several over-the-counter mouthguard options at your nearest sporting goods store. They’re typically a form of “boil-and-bite” mouthguards claiming they’re one size fits all. But this isn’t an option when it comes to mouthguards. They’re usually too small or too big, and it’s difficult to keep them in your mouth. You should be able to focus on the game and not on keeping your mouthguard in.
A custom mouthguard is made with impressions of your teeth, so it’s designed to fit you perfectly. When you have to clench your teeth to keep your mouthguard in, it impacts your jaw joint. Constant grinding or clenching strains the muscles and bone of your jaw joint. TMJ problems become a real concern if you do this multiple times a week. Custom mouthguards are snug enough to fit without needing to clench your teeth but not enough so that it’s uncomfortable.
You can’t communicate with your team or take a water break with an over-the-counter mouthguard in your mouth. You can both talk and drink water without having to remove your mouthguard. Store-bought mouthguards can even restrict your breathing. This can get dangerous if you can’t catch your breath properly while running around. You need to be able to breathe properly at all times.
Having a custom mouthguard can improve an athlete’s performance. They don’t have to focus on keeping the mouthguard in, can breathe well, and communicate with the rest of the team effectively. Their risk of oral injury is reduced, making them more confident in themselves and their ability to go all out when playing.
Taking Care of Custom Mouthguards
A mouthguard can’t properly protect your teeth unless you’re caring for it suitably. The first step to caring for it is cleaning it. Every time you take your mouthguard out, rinse it with cool water. This removes debris, blood, or saliva sticking to the mouthguard’s surface. Always use cool water on your mouthguard, as hot water can warp the material.
At least once a day, you should clean your mouthguard thoroughly. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a mild antibacterial soap or non-abrasive toothpaste. This removes bacteria and prevents odors from building up. Rinse out the guard thoroughly before storing it so there’s no residue buildup. You can also use cleaners that are specifically made to clean mouthguards.
Storage is important for the guard. When you’re not using it, keep it in a ventilated case. You need proper airflow to ensure that the guard can breathe and it doesn’t create an environment where bacteria will thrive. They love a warm, wet environment, and ventilation discourages that. A case ensures that you know where your mouthguard is and keeps it safe. Clean your case regularly, as bacteria and residue can still build up.
Keep your mouthguard away from any extreme temperatures. Excessive heat causes the mouthguard to warp and lose its shape. Don’t store your mouthguard in a hot car or anywhere where it’ll experience direct sunlight. Freezing temperatures make the material of your mouthguard brittle and more susceptible to breakage. It should always be in a room-temperature place.
You know your mouthguard best, and it’s important to recognize when it’s experiencing wear and tear. Look for any cracks, holes, rough edges, or worn spots. If your mouthguard is too worn or damaged, it won’t be able to protect your teeth. Bring the mouthguard to our office at least once a year so that we can examine it as well. We want to ensure that your teeth are kept safe by it and aren’t at risk due to wear.
Schedule a Dental Appointment
Do you need a sports mouthguard for the next season? Contact our office for a custom-made mouthguard at (571) 789-1265. You may also request a dental consultation with us on our website. If you have any questions about receiving a sports mouthguard, let us know, and we can help.