Choosing the Ideal Sports Mouthguard: A Step-by-Step Guide

Participating in sports and recreational activities is a great way to maintain physical fitness and mental well-being. However, the risk of dental injuries can’t be overlooked. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a school sports participant, or just someone who loves a weekend game, a sports mouthguard is crucial to safeguard your teeth. But how do you pick the perfect one? Let’s find out!

Understand the Importance

Protection against dental trauma

Mouthguards significantly reduce the risk of broken teeth, lacerated lips, gum injuries, and even concussions by absorbing and distributing the impact of a blow.

Maintaining oral health

Even a small injury to the mouth can result in extensive dental work in the future. By investing in a mouthguard, you’re not only protecting your teeth but also saving on potential medical bills.

Types of Mouthguards

Before choosing, it’s essential to know the types available:

Stock Mouthguards

Ready to wear, these are the most inexpensive option but offer the least protection and may not fit well.

Boil and Bite Mouthguards

Made from thermoplastic, you boil these in water and then bite into them to create a customized fit.

Custom-made Mouthguards

Designed by a dental technician, they provide the best fit, protection, and comfort, albeit at a higher price point.

Factors to Consider When Choosing A Sports Mouthguard

Fit

A mouthguard should fit snugly and not be displaced during intense activity. It should be comfortable, allowing you to talk and breathe without impediment.

Material

Look for durable, tear-resistant material that isn’t too bulky. It should have a soft inner lining to cushion the teeth upon impact.

Adaptability

If you wear braces or other dental devices, ensure the mouthguard can accommodate them.

Detailed Features to Evaluate

Thickness

Different sports have varying levels of contact and risk. High-contact sports like hockey or boxing require thicker and more durable mouthguards than non-contact sports like gymnastics.
– High impact: Choose a mouthguard with a minimum thickness of 4mm.
– Low impact: A thickness of 2-3mm will suffice.

Taste and Odor

Some mouthguards come with flavoring, making them more enjoyable for kids. However, ensure these don’t contain harmful chemicals. Additionally, some materials might leave an unpleasant taste or develop an odor over time, so checking user reviews before purchasing is a good idea.

Ventilation channels

Some advanced mouthguard designs have ventilation channels. This feature enhances breathability, which is particularly crucial for athletes in endurance sports.

Coverage

While most mouthguards protect the upper teeth only, some sports or individual preferences might necessitate dual coverage, protecting both upper and lower teeth.

Budget

While you shouldn’t compromise on safety, there’s a wide price range. Boil and bite mouthguards, for instance, offer a mid-range price with a relatively personalized fit, while custom-made mouthguards are more expensive but offer the best protection.

Testing the fit

When you’re trying out a new mouthguard:

Check for comfort

It shouldn’t cause any discomfort or pain.

Breathability

You should be able to breathe easily with the mouthguard in place.

Speak out

Try speaking with the mouthguard. While it might feel a bit odd, you should be able to articulate words without much trouble.

Caring for your mouthguard

A mouthguard will only be effective if it’s cared for properly:

Clean after use

Rinse it with cool water or mouthwash after every use. Occasionally, clean it with mild soap and a toothbrush.

Storage

Keep it in a perforated container to allow air circulation, preventing bacterial growth.

Regular Checks

Look for signs of wear and replace if it becomes distorted.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Do not leave your mouthguard in hot environments, like a car on a sunny day. This can distort its shape, especially for boil and bite types.

Don’t Chew On It

Some athletes have the habit of chewing on their mouthguards during breaks. This can significantly reduce its lifespan and effectiveness.

Replacement Frequency

Children and teens might need to replace their mouthguards more often because their mouths are still growing and changing. However, irrespective of age, any mouthguard showing signs of wear, tears, or cracks should be replaced immediately.

Mouthguard for Braces

Braces already protect the outer surface of your teeth, but they can cause cuts inside your mouth upon impact. Go for orthodontic mouthguards or mouthguards designed specifically for braces, as they cater to the unique shape of braces and offer enhanced protection.

Sports are exhilarating, and they can also be safer with the right protective gear like a perfect mouthguard. Remember, the best mouthguard is one that you will wear consistently. So, make sure it’s comfortable, durable, and, most importantly, offers the protection your teeth deserve. With this guide, you’re now equipped to make an informed choice. Play hard, play safe!

Buy The Best Custom Mouthguard from Clear Comfort Night Guards

Proudly handcrafted by professional dental technicians, the clear custom night guard from Clear Comfort Night Guards can help you prevent severe oral injuries during sports activities. Visit their website now for more information!

About the Author

Maurice S. Newby is a certified sports therapist with over a decade of experience in athletic safety gear. Combining a deep understanding of oral health with firsthand experience on the field, Maurice has guided numerous athletes, from novices to professionals, in choosing the right protective equipment. When not researching the latest sports safety trends, Maurice enjoys coaching youth soccer and contributing to health and wellness journals. With a passion for both sports and oral health, Maurice’s insights are a blend of professional expertise and genuine care for athletes’ well-being.

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