Sports Guards: Keep Your Teeth Safe While You Compete
During the hours of training both on and off the field or in the midst of a big game, teeth are probably the last thing on an athlete’s mind. However, no matter what sport or age group, keeping your teeth healthy and intact this season is crucial to both your oral and general health. A custom-made sports guard allows you to enjoy your sport without worrying about breaking a tooth in the process. Learn more with help from your Chico, CA dentist.
What makes a sports guard important?
A sports guard is a flexible, plastic mouthpiece worn over the teeth to protect them from trauma during contact sports. The most obvious benefit to wearing a sports guard is the peace of mind you have while engaging in physical activities. A sports guard surrounds your teeth and acts as a shock absorber, lowering the chance of breaking or chipping a tooth. Some cases of broken teeth have severe consequences. If a tooth is broken to the point of being unsalvageable, your Chico dentist may have to remove it altogether. This unfortunate situation comes with its own set of side effects. Additionally, a chipped or broken tooth could make eating and speaking more difficult. While these conditions are generally easily treatable, they are even more easily prevented.
Are there different kinds of sports guard?
There are three main types of sports guards available. They include:
- Off-the-Shelf: Off the shelf sports guards are available over the counter at most drug stores or sports stores. While these are the cheapest option, they are also the least efficient.
- Boil-and-Bite: Most sports stores carry over-the-counter boil-and-bite sports guards. They begin hard and stiff, and, when boiled, become soft and malleable, allowing you to bite into it to form the shape of the guard. As the guard hardens, the shape sets into it, providing a semi-custom fit.
- Custom-Made: Custom-made sports guards are the most beneficial in that a dental laboratory specially customizes each guard with your mouth in mind. The lab creates the guard based on a mold of your teeth, the sport you play, and your level of activity. These tailor-made sports guards are available from your dentist.
For more information on sports guards, please contact Dr. Ashley Harrison in Chico, CA. Call (530) 894-5454 to schedule your dental examination today!