Mouth Guards and Fall Sports

With Fall sports in full swing, mouth guards should be in every athlete’s gym bag as a key piece of safety equipment. Mouth guards are important for any athlete playing contact sports, and even those participating in non-contact sports activities. Team, individual, and recreational athletes alike have the threat of mouth injuries.

The goal of mouth guards is to provide protection for your teeth and gums. They are essential to cushioning blows that can occur while playing sports. If you receive a blow while not wearing a mouth guard, the risk is high for broken teeth and damage to the jaw, tongue, or lips. Risk of injury is twice as high for athletes not wearing mouth guards.

There are various types of mouth guards to choose from to wear while participating in sports. Customized guards offer the greatest protection, because they fit your mouth exactly and provide the ideal protection in the areas that need it the most. Other types of mouth guards can be helpful, provided they fit properly and remain in place. Ready-made mouth guards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores, and are the cheapest option. You can also select guards that require the “boil and bite” method, in which you boil it and fit it to your mouth while it is hot. This somewhat alters the shape to your mouth, in hopes of providing better protection. An even better choice is having a mouth guard custom made by your dentist or orthodontist. Remember that athletes with braces may require specialized mouth guards for the ideal fit and protection.

Some of the main things to consider about mouth guards are resiliency, comfort, and durability. It should fit properly and not impact breathing or speech. Mouth guards should be tear-resistant and easy to clean. Replace the mouth guard when holes, tears, or other damage occurs. Also, loose mouth guards can cause irritation and should be replaced.

Mouth guards are a vital part of playing sports, and should be worn every single time you play. Failing to wear a mouth guard even once can be the occasion that an injury occurs.

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