Mouthguards Used in Sports to Avoid Dental Trauma

Mouthguards Used in Sports to Avoid Dental Trauma:

Fall is right around the corner and football season is in full swing. Being a dental professional, I always check out the type of mouthguards being worn by my favorite teams. Many professional athletes wear them, but currently mouthguards are not mandatory to wear in most school sports. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports that up to a third of all injuries involving school sports sustain some type of oral damage that a mouthguard could have prevented. What’s more, according to the National Youth Sports Foundation, every year in the United States alone over five million teeth are lost due to sports related injuries. This is the reason athletes who are concerned about their smiles always wear mouthguards.

Types of Mouthguards:

Most mouthguards fall into one of three categories: stock (ready-made), boil and bite, and custom-made.

1.  Stock:
The least expensive is called a stock mouth guard, which only comes in a few sizes. These are also the most uncomfortable to wear and offer the least all around protection. The only possible way to make minor adjustments on stock mouth guards is to do some minor trimming.

2.  Boil and Bite:
Boil and bite guards can be purchased at retail sporting stores or at some drug stores.  This type of mouthguard is customized at home by soaking it in hot water and then biting into the soft material to shape it to the teeth. This type generally offers a better fit than the stock mouthguard.

3.  Custom Made:
Of the three types of mouth guards, the ones that are custom-made in the dental office offer the most protection and are often the most comfortable to wear. After a quick impression, a mouthguard in your choice of color can be fabricated.  Athletes wearing braces or who have had extensive dental work done would do well to utilize a custom made mouthguard.

All mouth guards should be cleaned with antibacterial soap and kept in a vented container after each use. Check the guard regularly for wear and tear and replace as needed.

Dr. Julie Pruneski is the dentist and owner of Whispering Pines Dental located at 690 Cooper Foster Park Road in Lorain, Ohio.  Dr. Pruneski is a current member of the American Dental Association, Ohio Dental Association, Lorain County Dental Society, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and American Academy of Facial Esthetics.  To reserve an appointment with Dr. Pruneski, call 440-282-2023.  Check us out online at and on Facebook


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