Dental Health Mouth Guards
Why Use a Mouth Guard When Playing Sports?
Because accidents can happen during any physical activity, the advantage of using a mouth guard during sports is that it can help limit the risk of mouth-related injuries to your lips, tongue, and soft tissues of your mouth. Mouth guards also help you avoid chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, or even tooth loss.
Can I Wear a Mouth Guard if I Wear Braces?
Yes. Since an injury to the face could damage braces or other fixed appliances, a properly fitted mouth guard may be particularly important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. Your dentist or orthodontist can determine the mouth guard that will provide the best protection for your unique mouth work. An important reminder: do not wear any orthodontic retainers or other removable appliance during any contact sports or during any recreational activities that put your mouth at risk for injury.
How Do I Care for My Mouth Guard?
To care for your mouth guard:
- Rinse your mouth guard with cold water or with a mouth rinse before and after each use or clean it with a mild soap and a toothbrush.
- Clean the mouth guard in cool, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly.
- Place the mouth guard in a firm, perforated container to store or transport it. This permits air circulation and helps to prevent damage. If the mouth guard is acrylic, keep it in fresh clean water.
- Protect the mouth guard from high temperatures -- such as hot water, hot surfaces, or direct sunlight -- to minimize distorting its shape.
- Occasionally check the mouth guard for general wear. If you find holes or tears in it or if it becomes loose or causes discomfort, replace it.
- Bring the mouth guard to each regularly scheduled dental visit to have your dentist exam it.