Mouthguards are an essential piece of protective sports gear for anyone taking part in a contact sport such as rugby, hockey or boxing. There various types of mouthguards but the most effective by far is a custom-made one that you can have made up by your orthodontist.
Mouthguards help protect against injuries of the lips, mouth, teeth and soft tissues in and around your mouth. Think of one as an investment – if you were to lose a tooth, this would cost a lot more to replace than a custom-made mouth guard!
Why custom-made over shop-bought?
Custom made mouthguards are created by your orthodontist to suit your teeth. For this reason, they are a lot more effective than what is called a ‘boil and bite’, the kind that you might buy over-the-counter. Custom-made moutguards are more effective at protecting you from sports-related injuries, as each individual tooth is protected, whilst a boil and bite guard does not shelter each tooth in the same way.
How to look after your mouth guard
If you’re going to purchase a custom-made mouth guard, it’s important to look after it in order to make it last. Here are a few pointers for looking after it….
- Before and after each use, remember to rinse your mouth guard with cold water or mouth rinse – you can also use a toothbrush and some soap to do this.
- Make sure you have a good plastic container to store it in – never place it into a bag on it’s own as it will collect debris which is unhygienic and renders the guard less effective overtime due to wear and tear.
- Avoid storing your mouth guard in high temperatures – doing this will change the shape of the guard and it will no longer be custom made!
- Each time you have a general check-up with your dentist, bring your mouth guard with you so it can be examined for signs of wear and tear.
Can I wear a mouth guard if I am undergoing orthodontic treatment?
Yes! However, if you are going to wear a mouth guard it must be a custom fitted one. A boil and bite could damage your appliance or indeed your teeth whilst a custom made one will protect both. Ask you dentist for more information on this.