Summer is here! Time to think about camp for the kids, summer vacation and little league baseball. Speaking of summer sports—this is also the time to think about keeping the smiles in your family healthy and safe. Mouthguards are really just as important as other types of sporting equipment that are designed to keep players safe. Read on to learn more from a family dentist in Lawrenceburg about what mouthguards do and the different kinds of mouthguards available.
What is a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a comfortable oral appliance that fits snugly in your mouth over your upper teeth. When in place, a mouthguard protects your upper and lower teeth, as well as your gums, lips, cheeks, tongue and jaw from possible injuries. Today, mouthguards are made of smooth plastic so they’re comfortable, and they come in an assortment of colors.
What Does a Mouthguard Do?
In cases where there is a blow to the face—an elbow to the mouth during basketball, falling forward during a game of flag football or wiping out on a skateboard—a mouthguard reduces the risk of serious oral injury.
In addition, recent research shows that wearing a mouthguard may also help to reduce the severity of jaw injury and even concussion if one were to occur. That’s because a mouthguard acts similarly to the shock absorbers in your car. Better to have a mouthguard absorb the force of impact rather than your jawbone or your brain.
What Types of Mouthguards are Available?
Ready-made mouthguards are available in sporting goods stores. They are not custom-fitted, so people often find them to be bulky and uncomfortable. Also, they are held in place only when your mouth is closed, which can make breathing and talking difficult during intense athletics.
Another type that can be purchased commercially is called a boil-and-bite mouthguard. As the name suggests, you must first heat the guard so it’s soft enough to bite and form to the shape of your mouth. Similarly, mouth-formed mouthguards fit securely over your teeth. However, both of these tend to lose flexibility over time.
The best kind of mouthguard is custom-made. The family dentist in Lawrenceburg makes this mouthguard from a set of impressions so you can be certain it will fit comfortably and securely.
If you or another member of your family will be out on the field or court this summer, now is the time to make sure they have a mouthguard. Contact your dentist to schedule a visit.
About Dr. Brian C. Oyler
Since 1977, Dr. Brian C. Oyler has provided the community with superior dental care. He embraces the latest dental advances, including top-quality mouthguards, to enhance the services he offers patients. Contact Oyler Family Dentistry today to schedule your consultation.