Should I Get an Athletic Mouthguard?

The summer months are some of the most popular times to see dental emergencies in Phoenix. With kids (and adults) involved in activities like baseball/softball, soccer, and gymnastics — not to mention the rise in cycling these days — people of all ages are susceptible to accidents and injuries to their mouth.

One of the best ways to minimize your chances of a knocked-out or broken tooth is to wear a protective sports mouthguard. That way when you take a bump or hit to the mouth (whether it’s an elbow or falling) you’ll have a durable appliance that prevents major injuries.

An athletic mouthguard also lowers your chances of busted lips, biting your tongue, and cheek lacerations. The protective buffer covers the biting edges of your teeth, so that your soft tissues don’t get impacted as roughly when something hits your mouth.

Plus, a properly fitting sports guard can also lower your chances of a concussion! The way it fits over your teeth helps reduce the chances of your mandible (lower jaw) from hitting roughly near the base of your brain, lessening the extent of a traumatic injury or avoiding it altogether.

Custom vs. Over-the-Counter

One-size mouthguards (or “stock” guards) are available in most drugstores and supermarkets. You can find them on the oral care isle near other dental products. They tend to be a looser type of appliance or one that’s “boil and bite”, where you can semi-shape it to your mouth.

On the other hand, custom mouthguards are made in our Phoenix dentist office from a mold of your exact bite. The material is melted over a model to provide a tightly-fitted appliance that fits like a glove.

Stock guards are looser and more uncomfortable to wear. In fact, most people take them out at some point. Or if you’re hit or fall, the guard can easily pop out and won’t be there to protect you from the secondary trauma.

But custom guards don’t do that. They stay put when you need them, and they’re comfortable enough to talk or rehydrate with, without having to take them in and out. Plus, they last for years.

Are All Mouthguards the Same?

No. At Central Valley Dentistry we fit mouthguards for different types of things. Some are for athletic purposes such as injury prevention. Others are for nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism) and headache prevention. There are even mouthguards that exist for snoring and sleep apnea. Each one is fitted differently and works to serve a specific purpose.  Wearing a night guard for example, wouldn’t help prevent athletic injuries or snoring. And a sports guard wouldn’t help with sleep apnea. The type of mouthguard prescribed and designed by your dentist is for a specific purpose. They’re not capable of crossing over for multiple uses.

Get Your Sports Guard in Phoenix

Need a new athletic mouthguard? Central Valley Dentistry in Phoenix can customize your appliance to your jersey colors or team! Call today.

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