Education

At UPD Dental Associates (University Pediatric Dentistry), we have an uncompromising promise to deliver dental education and awareness to the Western New York community. Below are some tips, articles and links to improve your family’s oral health. Also, make sure to come see us at local schools and events near you!

Education

Mouthguards - Fact and Fiction

Published on Monday, March 6, 2023

Mouthguards - Fact and Fiction

The American Dental Association and Sports Medicine Societies recommend a properly fitted mouth guard for protection during sports that can involve contact.

Mouthguards - Facts and Fiction

Dental injury is unexpected, immediate and permanent. The American Dental Association and Sports Medicine Societies recommend a properly fitted mouth guard for protection during sports that can involve contact.  Impact studies have shown that wearing any type of mouthguard reduces the risk of tooth injury compared with not wearing a mouthguard.  A custom-made mouthguard is most comfortable and best tolerated interfering minimally with breathing, speaking and swallowing.

Mouthguards are divided into two broad categories as summarized below.

Stock

Mouth-Formed

Custom-Made

Where are they available?

Pharmacy/Sports stores

Pharmacy/Sports stores

Dentists/Dental Technicians

How are they are made?

Worn as purchased, minimal modification

Heating the guard prior to molding in the mouth

On a model of the wearer’s mouth

What is the fit like?

Poor

Poor

Good

What are some issues and benefits for each?

Easily dislodged

Can cause gagging.

Interferes with:

• speech

• swallowing

• breathing

Easily dislodged

Can cause gagging.

Interferes with:

• speech

• swallowing

• breathing

Feels secure

Minimal interference with:

• speech

• swallowing

• breathing

Points to Remember:

Dental injury still occurs despite wearing a mouthguard.

When wearing your mouthguard rinse it and your mouth with clean water during a break reducing the exposure of your teeth to potentially damaging sports drinks. A split or cracked mouthguard should be replaced immediately.  Check your mouthguard regularly; in particular following a heavy knock and the end of each season. With use the biting surface of any mouthguard may flatten, wear or becoming dangerously thin over the biting edges of the front teeth. Excessive thinning on the biting surface of the mouthguard allows players to bite through the mouthguard during use. If this occurs no protection is provided.

Get your mouthguards checked by a dentist:

  • Before each season of play
  • If unsure at any time about a mouthguard.

Remember, it is easier and cheaper to replace a mouthguard than to replace a lost tooth.

Sources:

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/all-topics-a-z/mouthguards/

Written by the Smile Team and UPD Dental Associates

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