Sports dentistry covers the prevention and treatment of oral and facial injuries incurred by participants competing in any sporting event. While sports injuries are common—especially those to the mouth, teeth, and jaw—many can be avoided or minimized by wearing sports mouthguards.
Our dentists know from experience thatare not only essential for football players, boxers, and hockey players. Athletes in many non-contact sports such as rollerblading, gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, baseball, wrestling, and skateboarding experience unnecessary injuries to their teeth, mouth, and jaw that can be prevented by wearing mouthguards properly fitted by one of our dentists.
The overall cost of repairing a tooth well exceeds the minor cost of a properly fitted mouthguard. Our dentists can ensure the proper fit and function of your mouthguard to help prevent costly and debilitating oral or facial injuries during sports participation.
Benefits of Sports Mouthguards
Sports mouthguards are worn over your upper teeth to protect against injury during sports participation. A properly fitted mouthguard should be sturdy, durable, easy to clean, comfortable, tear-resistant, and allow for easy breathing and talking. We will create a custom mouthguard designed to protect your teeth from a contact injury to your mouth or facial area.
There are three types of mouthguards:
- Stock: A basic mouthguard is inexpensive, comes ready to wear, and can be found at sporting good stores. These pre-formed mouthguards are uncomfortable and provide minimal protection. They also disrupt breathing and make it difficult to talk. Since you can’t adjust them to fit properly, we don’t recommend this type of mouth protection.
- Boil and Bite: These guards fit better than stock mouthguards and are made from thermoplastic material. This is because you soften them in hot water before biting into the material so it’s molded to your teeth.
- Vacuum or Laminate-Pressed: These are custom-fitted in a dental office or lab based on the dentist’s instructions. First, we’ll take impressions of your teeth and mold a mouthguard over the model using a special material. Due to the materials used and precise tooling required to ensure proper fit, these mouthguards cost more but offer more comfort and protection.
The generic stock or “boil and bite” mouthguards bought at sporting good stores do not offer adequate support for an athlete’s teeth. Everyone’s teeth have unique characteristics. Age, gender, sport, competition level, and position all play important roles in the type of mouthguard you need to properly protect your teeth and jaw.
If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance, our dentists will create a mouthguard for your lower teeth as well.