Should I wear a sports mouthguard?
Worcester, MA general and family dentists Dr. Robert Gauthier and Dr. Meaghan Murray recommend that patients use a custom fit sports mouthguard for maximum protection during contact sports and activities. We gently remind patients that teeth do not grow back.
Protecting the teeth while participating in contact sports has become a growing standard among today’s athletes. The National Federation of State High School Associations currently mandates mouthguards for four major sports: football, ice hockey, lacrosse, and field hockey. We believe that ANY sport or activity that involves contact, or the risk of injury, should require a mouthguard. A mouthguard not only serves to protect your teeth during a collision or accident, but offers several other key benefits:
- Protects the soft tissues of the mouth from unnoticeable lacerations that can lead to infection from bacteria.
- Absorbs some of the force of impact and can reduce the risk of concussion and tooth loss.
- Reduces teeth clenching during athletic activity, conserving energy and often improving performance on the field.
Why Choose A Custom Mouthguard?
Although there are many options available at your local store for sports mouthguards, our dentists recommend that patients choose a custom fit option for superior protection of the teeth and gums. Over-the-counter options are generally bulky, poorly fit and uncomfortable to wear. In most cases, the wearer needs to expend energy biting down on the mouthguard to keep it from falling out or slipping around. Depending on the quality of material, over the counter options can actually irritate the gums and soft tissues in your mouth.
A custom fit mouthguard will be made to fit snugly over your teeth and gums- there is no need to bite down or clench the teeth to keep it in place. It can also be made to accommodate any dental appliances or orthodontia. A custom fit mouthguard enables the wearer to breathe and speak normally as well as drink fluids during play without having to be removed.
How long do sport mouthguards last?
With proper maintenance, and normal wear, they can last for about 5 years. We recommend bring your mouthguard with you to your dental visit at least once a year. A good rule of thumb is to have your dentist check it before your sport season begins. This will allow us time to create you a new one if your current one is too worn to use.