A mouth guard is a protective device made of plastic, rubber, or thermoplastic material that fits over your teeth. It protects your teeth and gums from injury during contact sports. The term “mouth guard” is often used to refer to any sort of protective device worn over the teeth during contact sports, as well as for other activities in which the teeth are likely to be subjected to injury. Our team can help you protect your teeth with the right mouth guard for your needs. Here’s what to know about wearing a mouth guard and when you might need one.
Who Needs Mouth Guards?
Teeth can be damaged by contact or collision-type injuries. A mouth guard is used in a variety of activities to protect teeth from injury. Mouth guards are typically used in sports and other activities where impact between the teeth, face, or jaw is possible. Sports that should include mouth guards are
- Field hockey
- Football and Rugby
- Ice hockey
- Martial arts
Types of Mouth Guards
There are a few different types of mouth guards. The most common types of mouth guards include:
- Full mouth guards (also called “full face” masks): These full-mouth protectors are used for many contact sports. They provide complete protection for the teeth, gums, and lips, providing a barrier between the wearer’s face and the object or person being hit.
- Half-molding mouth guards: These types of mouth guards have an open, elastomeric center to allow blood flow. They are often elongated to fit over the top and bottom teeth at once and to cover the hinge joints of the upper and lower jaws. This allows for high strength and accurate anatomical protection.
- Stock mouth guards. Stock mouth guards are manufactured in standard sizes and shapes and may not fit the wearer’s teeth properly. This makes them less effective than custom-fitted mouth guards.
- Custom-fitted mouth guards. Custom-fitted mouth guards are individually designed to fit comfortably in the mouth while providing protection of the upper and lower teeth, gums, and lips – protecting them from injury when participating in contact sports such as boxing, football, or any physical activity that may cause injury to the face or teeth during impact such as falling onto a hard surface or colliding with another person, ball, stick, etc.
Benefits of a Mouth Guard
Mouth guards come with many benefits to your oral health. Some of the most important ones include:
- Prevention of dental injuries
- Protection of the wearer’s teeth, gums, and lips during sports or contact with another person
- Reduced possibility of facial fractures due to accidental collisions with other players
- Improved breathing while participating in contact sports or contact-type activities by reducing the impact on the teeth, gums, and lips when performing any strenuous tasks
- Better air circulation in the mouth and respiratory system due to reduced inflammation in the mouth when wearing a mouth guard
- Reduced risk of concussion
Schedule a Consultation
Mouth guards can preserve your oral health and prevent serious injury. Make an appointment with Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates, DDS, if you need a custom mouth guard or sports guard. Please call our Cincinnati office or contact us online.