Sports Protection: What Is a Dental Mouth Guard?

Man holding a football helmetWondering how important wearing a protective mouth guard is when playing sports? Also called an athletic mouth guard, it is very important for you to protect your teeth anytime there is a chance of your teeth becoming damaged, which tends to occur quite often when playing sports. According to the American Dental Association, mouth guard use has been shown to reduce the risk of sports-related dental injuries.

What Exactly Is a Dental Mouth Guard?

Learning more about exactly what a protective mouth guard is will help you understand the importance of wearing one. A dental mouth guard protects your mouth from injury when playing sports, which means less risk of injury to your teeth, gums, tongue, lips, face and jaw. They work by covering your teeth to prevent any major damage, as the mouth guard will take the brunt of any force that can occur to the facial area when playing sports.

Sports that require a dental mouth guard be worn

While not every sport requires players to wear a dental mouth guard in order to protect their teeth, many do. According to the American Dental Association, participating in one or more of the following sports requires wearing a mouth guard — basketball, football, gymnastics, racquetball, skateboarding, squash, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling. When it comes to younger sports players, it is important for parents to make sure that they are actually wearing their mouth guard, as it can be easy for younger players to forget.

How to clean a dental mouth guard

It is important for sports players to not just toss their mouth guard in with the rest of their sports items; instead, it is necessary to properly clean the mouth guard until the next game is played. When mouth guards are not cleaned, it is possible for them to cause an oral infection due to the growth of bacteria. In order to clean a mouth guard, it is necessary to brush it with toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush and then rinse it with soapy water until thoroughly clean.

When do mouth guards need to be replaced?

While most mouth guards can continue to protect the mouth of sports players for anywhere between three and five years, it is important to replace them once they start to show any signs of wear. These signs include things like cracks and little dimples, which means it is time to get a new mouth guard. For sports players who choose a custom-made mouth guard, it may be possible for a dental professional to fix any signs of wear.

Is a Dental Mouth Guard Right for You?

If you participate in contact sports, a protective mouth guard can protect you from experiencing any number of sports-related dental injuries. The last thing you want to happen is for you to damage any of your teeth while playing sports, or even having one of your teeth completely knocked out of your mouth. Ready to make an appointment so we can help you understand more about the importance of wearing a dental mouth guard when playing sports?

Request an appointment or call Integrated Dental Care at (610) 600-9745 for an appointment in our Exton office.

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