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When to Wear a Mouthguard

They’ve got the uniform and the pads, the beginning of the season is coming up, and everything is ready to go… or is it?  In athletes of all ages mouth-guards are an essential part of their protective equipment. While athletes are the most common users of this kind of equipment, they’re not the only ones who can benefit from it.  Below we’ll cover when you should wear a mouth-guard and even a few types of mouth-guard that are available.

Why Are Mouth Guards Important?

When referencing the statistics provided by the American Association of Orthodontists (ADA) it will become apparent that nearly 85% of children go without mouth guards while playing organized sports.  Since these devices aren’t required their teeth remain unprotected, in spite of the severe damage that can happen to the teeth and jaw as a result. For patients who grind their teeth while they sleep, mouth guards can be equally effective in helping to protect their teeth against the wear and tear caused by their night-time grinding.

What Types Of Mouth Guards Are Available?

The most basic form of mouth guard is known as a boil and bite mouth guard due to the way in which it’s fitted.  These plastic forms are dropped in boiling water until they get soft, at which point the owner bites down on them to make a form of their teeth, and lets it cool to create a fitted guard.  Proper athletic guards are a more advanced type of mouth guard that can vary broadly both in cost and comfort. The last type are custom made guards that can be made for you by your dentist. These provide the best protection and is perfectly fitted to your teeth.

How To Care For My Mouth Guard

Alright, you know when to wear one (when participating in sports activities or at night if you grind your teeth), and you know what types there are.  Thankfully this next part is relatively simple, it covers the care and feeding of your mouth guard to ensure it protects you for the extent of its lifetime.

  • Clean It – Every time you use it your should brush it like you do your teeth.
  • Proper Storage – Storing your mouth guard in a cool dark place helps keep it malleable.
  • Out of the Sun – Don’t let your mouth guard get too much sun or sit in hot water, it’ll soften and deform.
  • Don’t Chew On It – This can be the trickiest one. It’s in your mouth, but constant chewing can wear it down.
  • Replace it – If it wears down, make sure you replace it.  A worn or broken mouth guard doesn’t protect properly.

If you or a family member is in need of a mouth guard then it’s time to pick up the phone and call Dr. Swait Singh at Smiling Kids Pediatric in Indianapolis, IN today.  Their team of practitioners have been working with families like yours to help children and adults alike survive the rigors of an active life.

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