Use a mouthguard during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth.
Anyone who participates in a sport that carries a significant risk of injury should wear a mouthguard. This includes a wide range of sports, such as football, hockey, basketball, baseball, gymnastics and volleyball. A properly fitted mouthguard can help prevent broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw, as well as protecting against concussion. It will stay in place while you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breath.
Mouthguards typically cover the upper teeth and can cushion a blow to the face. If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth, as well.
There are three types of mouthguards:
- Custom-fitted: Made by your dentist for you personally. They offer the most comfort and best protection for your smile.
- Boil and Bite: Can be bought at many sporting goods stores and offer a better fit than stock mouthguards. For the best fit, it’s important to follow the directions carefully.
- Stock: Inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well and can make breathing and talking difficult.
For additional information:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/
- American Dental Association: www.ada.org (Type “fluoridation” in the search box.)
- San Diego County Dental Society: www.sdcds.org/Dental-Information/fluoridation