Football Mouthguard

Picking The Right Mouthguard For Any Sport

As the name implies, mouthguards are designed to guard your mouth against impact and injury during athletic activity. In fact, mouthguards prevent more than 100,000 severe tooth injuries each and every year, so you should definitely consider wearing one if you’re participating in athletic events. But what mouthguard is best for your situation, and what else do you need to know about the device? We answer those questions, and more in today’s blog.

Choosing A Mouthguard

When it comes to picking a mouthguard, there are typically three different options available. Here’s a closer look at each option and why it might or might not be a good fit for your situation:

  • Stock – Stock mouthguards are the cheapest mouthguards available, and although they do offer a layer of protection, they can be uncomfortable because they are often pre-formed and may not fit the best. They are alright if you need a mouthguard at the last minute, or if your growing child needs something for pee-wee football, but otherwise, they aren’t usually the preferred option because they aren’t always the most comfortable.
  • Boil and Bite – A boil and bite mouthguard are a little more expensive, but you can fit them to your mouth. You boil the mouthguard in hot water, and when it is warm, you bite into the piece, so it forms to your mouth. These are the most common options because they aren’t too expensive and provide a nice fit. These are great for most athletes and weekend warriors.
  • Custom Made – Finally, a third option is the custom made mouthguard, a mouthpiece designed by a dental professional. We can custom build a mouthguard for you, and while it is the most expensive of the three options, it can provide a perfect fit to your teeth. This is an excellent option for athletes in contact sports and those with dental hardware (like braces) that should be protected with an individualized mouthguard.

Have Mouthgear? Protect It

The final piece of information above is key. If you have braces or other fixed bridgework, you must protect your teeth. Breaking part or losing your hardware because of a blow to the face can thousands of dollars, so be proactive and protect your mouth by getting a custom-fit mouthguard.

Even if you don’t have braces or hardware, a mouthguard can help prevent severe injuries to your teeth. Mouthguards can greatly reduce the amount of force felt by your teeth if you make contact to the face, which can help protect your teeth as well as other sensitive areas like your gums, lips, and tongue.

If you have questions about your mouthguard, or you want a dentist’s opinion on your mouthguard, please reach out to us. Also, feel free to bring your mouthguard with you to your next dental appointment. We can ensure it fits properly, and we can talk to you about different options if your current model is causing discomfort. For more information, contact Dr. Brooks’ office today.


How Important Are Mouth Guards For Young Athletes?

When you’re getting ready to play a sport, you probably gear up with some standard safety equipment. You’ve got your helmet and pads for football, shin guards for soccer and knee pads for volleyball, but one piece of equipment that isn’t regularly worn by athletes is a mouthguard. For most sports, even if contact isn’t a main part of the sport, mouthguards should be worn by young athletes.

Why Mouthguards Matter

Mouthguards are very important during athletic activity because they help to prevent broken, chipped, cracked and dislodged teeth. Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Losing a tooth during sports is a pretty rare occurrence, so as long as my children aren’t unlucky, they are probably safe,” but that’s simply not true. Having a tooth knocked out during sports actually occurs way more frequently than you think.

Estimates suggest that 300,000 teeth are knocked out during sporting activity each year. That’s a lot of teeth! But get this, that’s not the true amount of dislodged teeth. According to the American Dental Association, more than three million teeth are knocked out every year across all kids’ sports. Don’t let your child become one of the three million kids who will lose a tooth during sports this year because you didn’t equip them with a mouthguard.

Mouthguards can’t protect against every tooth injury, but they certainly help. Even though mouthguards aren’t widely used across most sports, the ADA estimates that mouthguards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries each year. And that number would only increase if more children and teens began wearing mouthguards during their sport.

It’s not just hockey and football players that are losing their teeth. Those are certainly contact sports, but those are the two highest activities with mouthguard use, so mouthguards are already doing a lot to protect injuries in these sports. Other sports that your child should wear a mouthguard during include:

  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Rugby
  • Lacrosse

If you’re more of a solo athlete, you’ll still want to wear a mouthguard during activities like mountain biking, skateboarding, rollerblading or when you’re on a hoverboard. Aside from protecting your teeth, the mouthguard also acts as a shield for your mouth in the event you end up biting down on a soft portion of your mouth. Each year, mouthguards prevent countless lacerations and cuts to the mouth, lips and tongues of athletes across the country.

Picking Out A Mouthguard

There are a couple of options available when it comes time to pick out a mouthguard for your child. We go into greater detail in this blog post, but essentially you can get a preformed mouthguard, a “boil and bite” mouthguard or a custom fit mouthguard. Boil and bite mouthguards are probably the most common option for young athletes, as they aren’t much more expensive than the preformed option and they provide a more comfortable fit.

With that said, if your child has braces or other mouthgear, a custom brace is probably the route to go. We encourage custom mouthguards because it creates a better fit and people are more likely to wear them.

For more information about mouthguard safety, or to talk to a dentist about your mouthguard options, reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office today.

Mouthguards & Teeth

What to Know About Mouthguards & Teeth Safety

Mouthguards are becoming more common in organized sports, as research shows that they can not only protect your teeth, but they can also help prevent against certain head injuries like concussions. At what age should you consider having your child wear a mouthguard, and how do they help to protect your child’s teeth? We answer those questions and more in today’s blog.

Mouthguard Safety

Mouthguards or other mouth protections help to cushion a blow to the face and disperse the force of the blow over a larger area than directly on one or two teeth. Most mouthguards cover your upper teeth and protect your gums, teeth and other soft tissues in your mouth. More than 200,000 dental injuries are avoided each year because younger athletes wear mouthguards, so if your child is beginning contact sports, make sure you invest in a mouthguard.

One common misconception among parents is that their children don’t need mouthguards until their permanent teeth have come in. This is not true! The American Dental Association recommends that children over the age of six wear a mouthguard when participating in certain activities like soccer, football, basketball and gymnastics.

Choosing A Mouthguard

In general, there are three different types of mouthguards available:

  • Stock
  • Boil and Bite
  • Custom

Stock mouthguards are inexpensive because they come preformed. Most children complain that they don’t fit well, and they may even irritate gums, so these aren’t the ideal option. Boil and bite mouthguards are better, because, as the name implies, they can be fitted to your child’s teeth by boiling the mouthguard and having them bite onto it in order to create indentations. These mouthguards are approved by the American Dental Association, but make sure that you closely follow the instructions to ensure the mold is made safely and correctly. Finally, there are custom mouthguards that can be designed by your dentist. These options are a little more expensive, but they will be individually tailored to your child’s mouth to ensure the best fit possible.

Mouthguards are imperative for any child or teen who has braces. This custom dental work can easily be damaged by a blow to the face, so make sure your child wears a mouthguard during athletic activity or during certain athletic activities like rollerblading or skating. When picking out a mouthguard for children with braces, talk to your dentist or orthodontist about the best option for your child’s mouth. Depending on the braces, your dentist may recommend a different type of mouthguard or one that also protects their lower teeth, so don’t just pick up the cheapest option on the shelf.

Bloomington Dentist Office

Finally, you also want to care for your mouthguard when you’re not using it. Keep it clean and dry when it’s out of your mouth, and regularly clean and rinse your mouthguard with toothpaste or other approved cleaning options. It’s also a good idea to bring your mouthguard with you to your dentist appointments so your dentist can examine it for proper fit and give you advice if things need to be altered.

For more information about wearing a mouthguard or protecting your teeth during organized sports, reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office today.