It’s that time of year again and back to school means it’s time to go back to sports!
Mouth guards, also known as sports guards, are recommended for just about every sport available in Slave Lake. Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Skating, Skiing, Skateboarding, Wrestling, Boxing, Hockey and more! If your child or teen participates in sports, then remember to add a mouth guard to your list of back to school supplies.
Why Use a Mouth Guard?
Mouth guards are a device that is worn over your teeth to help to cushion a blow to the face, protecting your jaw, tongue, lips, cheeks, jaw joints and head from injuries, while greatly minimizing the risk of broken teeth. In fact, studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to teeth if they are not wearing a mouth guard and sports related dental injuries account for more than 600,000 emergency room visits each year!
A mouth guard also protects your head and brain from concussion if a blow is made to the lower jaw by redistributing the force of blow so the impact is absorbed more evenly.
What Exactly Is a Mouth Guard?
A mouth guard typically covers the upper teeth and acts as a shock absorber in the mouth to protect from excessive forces. A well-made mouth guard adapts smoothly to the upper teeth and gums, staying firmly in place, even when speaking, breathing heavily or playing actively. Here at Slave Lake Dental we have a variety of color choices to choose from such as standard colors, neon, glitter, tie dye and even half and half (example: Half red, half blue).
There are three types of mouth guards. There are stock mouth guards, boil and bite mouth guards, and custom made mouth guards. Stock mouth guards come pre-formed, ready to wear but unfortunately they do not fit very well and therefore do not offer the best protection from injuries. Boil and bite mouth guards come in a pre-formed shape made out of materials that are resilient under normal conditions but become pliable when heated. They are altered by boiling the mouth guard in water then biting into the warm plastic for a slightly customized fit. These two types of mouth guards are purchased from sports stores and can be bulky, put stress on your jaw if they do not fit right and may make breathing and talking difficult.
Custom made mouth Guards are individually designed and made here at the Slave Lake Dental office. Not surprisingly, they provide the most comfortable fit and best protection. Most athletes prefer customized mouth guards because they fit and feel better than alternative mouth guards. A better fit makes them allows the wearer to talk easier and to breathe easier while breathing while playing. Custom made mouth guards are less bulky, last longer due to the quality of the materials, and are more comfortable.
The ideal mouthguard is resilient, durable, comfortable, fits properly, is easy to clean and should not affect your ability to breathe or speak.
As children and adolescent mouths continue to grow and teeth continue to develop into adulthood, it is best to replace your mouth guard after each sport season to ensure a good fit.
Care for Your Mouth Guard so it Cares for You!
Follow these quick steps to keep your mouth guard in the best of shape:
• Rinse your mouth guard with cold water or a mouthwash and air dry before and after each use.
• Store your mouth guard in a ventilated, rigid plastic container.
• Keep it away from excessive heat and cold, and from direct sunlight.
• Occasionally clean your mouth guard by using a mild soap, water and a soft toothbrush.
• Mouth guards become less effective over time as they wear down from regular use and should be replaced when they get torn or become too loose or too thin. Check your mouth guard regularly for wear and tear.
How Does Slave Lake Dental Create a Mouth Guard?
A custom mouth guard requires one appointment which usually runs about twenty minutes long. During this appointment the Registered Dental Assistant will take an upper impression. You then get to choose the color that your mouth guard will be made in and our in-office lab will start production. A few days later a member from our Patient Care Team will call you to let you know that your custom fit mouth guard is ready for pick up.
Slave Lake Dental offers one free mouth guard for our regular dental hygiene patients.
Asha is just one of our team members that makes custom fit mouth guards here at Slave Lake Dental.
Contact our office today to ask about our affordable mouth guards so we can help protect your smile while you play.