A Custom Mouth Guard Could Save Your Smile!

Imagine what it would be like if you suddenly lost one or two of your front teeth. Smiling, talking, eating—everything would suddenly be affected.

One fall or collision with a fellow biker could damage your smile; so it’s better to be safe than sorry! Mouth guards are not just for football players or hockey players. Mouthguards should be worn while participating in any sport that involves the risk of injury. While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, you can experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as volleyball, gymnastics, and skating. Why risk damaging your gums or losing a tooth?

Dental professionals have long encouraged patients to use protective mouthguards during sports and recreational activities such as rollerblading and skateboarding. Mouth guards, which typically cover the upper teeth, can cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth. A properly fitted custom mouth guard will stay in place and it will not hinder the ability to breathe easily or to talk.

There are three types of mouthguards:

  1. Custom-fitted (custom mouth guard) – These are made by your dentist. They are more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized, usually offer the best fit.
  2. Stock – These are inexpensive and come pre-formed and ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
  3. Boil and bite – These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.

The best mouthguard is one that has been custom-made for your mouth by your orthodontist. When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment. If you would like more information or would like to know how we can make a custom mouthguard for you, call our office to schedule an appointment!

In the event of a dental injury, Dr. Shullman offers these tips:

Broken tooth

  • Clean the injured area and apply ice.
  • Save the tip of the tooth (for possible reattachment) and call your dentist right away.
  • Store the tooth fragment in milk, if available, or water.

Knocked out tooth

  • Locate the tooth; hold it by the crown (the wide part, not the pointed end/root).
  • Rinse the tooth ONLY if there is a need to remove debris.
  • Put the tooth back in its socket; cover with gauze or tissue and bite down to stabilize it or store the tooth in cold milk
  • Do not let the tooth dry out. A tooth may be saved if cared for properly and re-implanted within an hour.