When To Use a Mouthguard
When playing sports, mouthguards are a critical piece of safety equipment. They are designed to minimize the risk of broken teeth and oral and facial injuries. Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends the use of mouthguards if you participate in sports such as basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three basic types of mouthguards: pre-made mouthguard, “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and custom- made mouthguard. Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. When you choose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly.
These are the over the counter mouth guards that come pre-formed and ready to wear. Pre-made mouthguards are typically one size fits all and inexpensive.
To use this type of mouthguards, one has to first soften it in hot water and then mold it around the mouth using the fingers and tongue. Overall, these fit better than pre-made mouthguards, but do not give a precise, customized fit.
Custom-made mouthguards are specially designed by your dentist or Orthodontist to provide optimal protection against mouth injuries. A mold is taken of your teeth and used to create a mouthguard specifically for the structure of your teeth and mouth. These mouthguards are comfortable to wear and harder to accidentally dislodge while sleeping or playing sports.