An often overlooked tool for oral health protection, a custom mouth guard can be highly beneficial to dental patients of all ages when they are engaging in sporting activities. Professional athletes from many sports are required to wear them during their matches, and for good reason, which is why dental patients should also have one ready when they play a sport. Located in Toronto and Scarborough, Ontario, our dental team at Liberty Square Dental Group has summarized the value of customized mouthguards.

What are Sports Mouth Guards?

Custom sports mouth guards in Toronto

A mouth guard is a covering that is meant to be worn over the teeth, generally used to protect them from injury and grinding when you play sports. Three types of mouthguards are available:

Stock Mouth Guards

Pre-formed and ready for usage immediately, these mouth guards are rather inexpensive and sold in most sporting goods stores and department stores. Our dentists do not recommend their use, as they offer very little protection, make breathing and talking an issue because of their bulkiness, and are seemingly incapable of being adjusted.

Boil and Bite Mouth Guards

This type is also available in many sporting goods stores, this variation of the mouth protector could offer a superior fit to that of the stock mouth guard. You put this mouth guard, which is made of thermoplastic material, into hot water for a softening effect, placing it in the mouth afterward. Then, you shape the mouth guard around your teeth with finger and tongue pressure.

Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards

These are individually designed and created within a dental practice or a professional laboratory according to instructions provided by one of our dentists. An impression of your teeth will first be made, with a mouth guard molded over the model using a unique material. Although a customized mouth guard is more expensive because of the special material and additional time needed, it supplies the most protection and best comfort.

What Sports Require Athletes to Wear Mouthguards

What sports require athletes to wear mouth guards

Contact sports demand that all athletes constantly wear a mouth guard and this includes the following:

  • Hockey
  • Boxing
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Lacrosse
  • Rugby
  • Competitive Martial Arts
  • … and more.

What Age or Sports Level Does an Athlete Need a Mouthguard?

Custom-fitted sports mouth guards in Toronto

Once you begin to play sports in a competitive capacity, even in a friendly house league, you should secure a mouth guard as quickly as possible. Not only are they hugely helpful in contact sports, but they are also an asset during non-contact sports, like gymnastics, and recreational activities, such as skateboarding. In any situation that could pose a risk of injury to your mouth, you should be wearing a custom mouth guard.

Why Do Athletes Wear Mouth Guards?

Accidents can occur throughout any physical, contact sport, especially when it is played at an elite level. Customized mouth guards limit the potential risk of mouth-related injuries to your lips, tongue, and soft tissues within the mouth. Also, a mouth guard effectively prevents chipped or broken teeth, tooth loss, and nerve damage to a tooth. This extensive type of damage can be threatening to the appearance and function of your smile, leading patients to require Restorative Dentistry; like Dental Implants, Dentures, and more.

How Can I Care For My Mouthguard?

There are a few basic steps that will keep your custom mouthguard in ideal condition:

  • Before and after any usage, rinse your mouth guard with cold water or with a mouth rinse. You can also opt to clean it with mild soap and a toothbrush.
  • Using cool water and plenty of soap, clean and rinse the mouth guard properly.
  • For storage purposes, put the mouth guard in a firm, perforated container, which will boost air circulation and work to prevent damage. An acrylic mouthguard should be kept in fresh clean water.
  • Keep the mouth guard away from high temperatures (direct sunlight, hot surfaces, heated water, etc.) because exposure to excess heat can deform its shape.
  • From time to time, inspect the mouthguard for any general wear. Replace it if you notice holes or tears, as well as if the fit becomes loose or uncomfortable.
  • During a scheduled dental checkup, ask one of our dentists to examine the mouth guard for any defects.

Book Your Next Dental Appointment

Contact Liberty Square Dental Group to learn more about our Toronto dental office or Scarborough dental clinic. We look forward to seeing you soon!