Mouthguards are just as essential as pads and helmets if you or your children play sports. William H. Panico, DMD, your dentist in Rio Grande, NJ, is here to answer a few commonly asked questions about mouthguards.
Why are mouthguards important?
One blow to your mouth from a ball, stick or elbow can knock out a tooth or damage your mouth. Mouthguards help absorb the force of a blow and help prevent dental injuries to your teeth, jaw, lips and face. They can also prevent damage to braces. Wearing a mouthguard is just as important whether you play on an official team or play in pickup games on the weekend.
Where can I get a mouthguard?
You can buy a mouthguard at any sporting goods store. Stores generally offer ready-to-wear guards that can be put in your mouth immediately after opening the package or boil and bite versions that are boiled first to provide a more custom fit. Unfortunately, many people find store-bought mouthguards uncomfortable and never wear them more than once.
Your Rio Grande dentist offers custom-made versions that may change your mind about mouthguard comfort. Custom mouthguards are made from an impression of your teeth, so they fit your mouth perfectly. Cheap mouthguards are often bulky, but custom versions are made of lightweight material that makes them less noticeable while you're playing your favorite sport.
How should I take care of my mouthguard?
Mouthguard care is fairly simple. Rinse it after you use it and keep it fresh by brushing it with a little toothpaste. At least once a week, wash it in soapy water and rinse it well. When you're not wearing your mouthguard, place it in the case provided to prevent damage. Never leave it in the sun, as exposure to hot temperatures can affect the fit. If you notice wear or the mouthguard doesn't fit as well as it once does, replace it as soon as possible.
Interested in a custom mouthguard? Call your Rio Grande, NJ, dentist, William H. Panico, DMD, at (609) 886-2277 and schedule an appointment.