A sports guard is a covering worn over teeth to protect them while playing contact sports and other physical activity. Generally, sports guards are worn on upper teeth only, but in some cases your dentist will recommend a guard for your lower teeth as well. There are many types of sports guards, but the most comfortable and effective sports guards are the ones custom fitted by your dentist.
Sports guards should be worn by every adult or child who plays a contact sport such as hockey, football, boxing, basketball, lacrosse and soccer. However, if you are participating in any sort of activity or sport that might pose a risk of injury to the teeth or mouth, you could benefit from wearing a sports guard. Accidents are common during physical activity, so wearing a sports guard helps to limit the risk of mouth-related injuries. These guards help prevent chipped and broken teeth, nerve damage and even tooth loss.
A well-made and effective sports guard should be durable, comfortable and easy to clean. Wearing your sports guard should not restrict your speech or breathing.
How do I care for my sports guard?
- - Specific cleaning instructions will be given based on the material chosen by your dentist at Natural Dentist Associates
- - Store your sports guard in it’s case at all times when not in use
- - Keep your guard away from animals since they may think it is a chew toy
- - Protect your guard from high temperatures, such as direct sunlight, hot surfaces and hot water to avoid shape distortion
- - Check occasionally for wear and replace if need be
- - Bring your sports guard to your routine dental visits to have it checked
Can I wear a sports guard if I have braces?
Yes. A sports guard can help protect the inside of your mouth during an injury as well as the braces. Wearing a properly fitted sports guard is extremely important for people who have braces or other dental restorations like an implant or bridge. Your dentist can help you determine which guard is best for you.
What’s the difference between an over the counter sports guard and one custom made by my dentist?
Over the counter sports guards work fine in a pinch, but they are typically bulky, lack any adjustment capability, can impair speech, and provide less protection than one that has been custom fitted to your teeth/mouth and made from superior materials.
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