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  /  Preventative Dentistry   /  Why Sports Guards Matter: Safeguarding Your Teeth in the Game
sports guards

Engaging in sports is a terrific way to stay in shape and enjoy time with friends, competition, and physical activity. Nevertheless, it can also pose a risk of dental injuries, leading to considerable pain and lasting issues. This is why using sports guards is essential.

The Importance of Sports Guards

Sports guards are indispensable for protecting your teeth while playing sports. These protective devices cover your teeth and gums, acting as a cushion to absorb and spread the impact of blows to your mouth area. Without this protection, a single facial impact during a game can result in costly dental procedures, pain, and potentially permanent tooth harm. Dental injuries can occur in a wide range of sports, including basketball, football, and even non-contact activities like gymnastics and skateboarding. So, it’s crucial to prioritize your dental health and wear a sports guard before participating in any sport. They not only prevent tooth damage but also reduce the risk of soft tissue injuries, jaw fractures, and even concussions by cushioning impacts to the head.

Types of Sports Guards

Sports guards come in three main types: stock, boil and bite, and custom-made guards.
  • Stock guards are the most budget-friendly but are often uncomfortable and not very effective as they are pre-formed in standard sizes, potentially hindering breathing and speech for athletes.
  • Boil and bite guards, available at sporting goods stores, are more adaptable as you can mold them to your teeth after boiling, offering a better fit than stock guards, but they’re still not as effective as custom-made ones.
  • Custom-made guards, while the most expensive, provide the best fit and protection as they are crafted by a dentist to match your mouth’s unique shape, offering superior comfort and effectiveness, albeit at a higher cost.

How to Choose the Right Sports Guard for Your Needs

Selecting the appropriate sports guard hinges on various factors, such as the sport you engage in, the required level of protection, and your budget. For high-impact sports like football or hockey, a robust custom-made guard capable of withstanding heavy impacts is essential. However, for non-contact sports like gymnastics, a boil and bite guard might suffice. Your budget also plays a role; while custom-made guards offer the highest effectiveness, they may not be practical for everyone, particularly if you participate in multiple sports and need frequent replacements. In such cases, a more budget-friendly boil and bite guard may be a preferable choice.

Proper Care and Maintenance of Sports Guards

Proper care and maintenance of your sports guard are crucial for its effectiveness and longevity. Here are some tips to keep your guard in excellent condition:
  • Rinse your guard with cool water after each use.
  • Clean your guard with a toothbrush and toothpaste or a specialized guard cleaner.
  • Store your guard in a ventilated container to prevent bacteria buildup.
  • Avoid exposing your guard to high temperatures, as this can cause it to warp or become misshapen.

Conclusion

A high-quality sports guard is an invaluable investment in preventing painful and expensive dental injuries with lasting effects. These protective devices are essential for averting tooth damage and soft tissue injuries. When selecting a sports guard, assess your sport, protection requirements, and budget. Maintenance and care are essential for their effectiveness and durability. Prioritize your dental health by using a sports guard before participating in sports, avoiding unnecessary risks. Don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly. ¬†Book an appointment today with Mount Pleasant Dental Group by (604) 559-9955.
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