Worcester, MA dentist Dr. Joseph Costa recommends that patients use a custom-fit sports mouthguard for maximum protection during contact sports and highly-physical activities. We gently remind patients that teeth do not grow back. Wearing a custom-fit mouthguard provides many benefits and virtually no drawbacks! Dr. Costa highly recommends custom mouthguards as part of a preventative dentistry service. Visit our Worcester, MA, dental practice for the best-customized mouthguards in your area.
Benefits of Sports Mouthguards
Protecting 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 any sport or activity involving 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, including:
- Protects the mouth’s soft tissues from unnoticeable lacerations that can lead to infection from bacteria.
- Protects your tongue and cheeks from being accidentally bit.
- 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.
About Custom Mouthguards
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. Protect your teeth and gums with a truly custom tooth-guard. 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 the material, over-the-counter options can actually irritate the gums and soft tissues in your mouth. There’s also the possibility of slippage with standard mouthguards. They can cause distractions while trying to focus on your performance and the game.
A custom-made 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 them in place. It can also be made to accommodate any dental appliances or existing orthodontics treatments by adding an extra layer of protection for athletes with braces. A custom-fit mouthguard enables the wearer to breathe and speak normally as well as drink fluids during play without having to be removed.
Custom Mouthguards FAQs
If you want to know more about mouthguards, read answers to these commonly asked questions:
How long do sports mouthguards last?
Custom sports mouthguards can last for about 5 years with proper maintenance and normal wear. We recommend bringing 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 a new one if your current one is too worn to use.
How long does it take to make a custom mouthguard?
It generally takes two or more weeks to create a mouthguard. This process will require two visits to our dental office. At your first appointment, we will take several impressions of your teeth. They will be sent to a dental laboratory, fabricated, and then returned to us. At your second appointment, about two weeks later, we will try your new mouthguard to ensure it fits properly.
Why can’t I just use a boil-and-bite mouthguard?
A store-bought, or boil-and-bite, mouthguard does not provide as much protection for your teeth when compared to a custom-made mouthpiece. While mouthguards will not prevent all injuries, a custom-made one that fits seamlessly in your mouth will reduce your chances of major damage. Additionally, people that wear store-bought mouthguards claim they are not comfortable and are hard to breathe in. Most store-bought mouthguards are made from cheap plastic that will not soften a blow to the mouth very well.
Protect your teeth and long-term dental health. Schedule a personalized dental exam today if you want to learn more about custom mouthguards. Give us a call at 508-590-9383 today! You can also schedule a dental appointment online today.