We are often called at Singing River Dentistry to deal with dental issues related to a sports injury. Whether it is a chipped tooth or multiple lost teeth, getting injured during a sporting event can wreak serious havoc on your mouth. While we can help you fix those issues, we would rather they not occur in the first place.
The best way to prevent damaging your teeth and gums during a sporting event is to wear a properly fitted mouthpiece at all times of play.
The Different Types of Sports Mouthguards You Can Use
There are three main types of sports mouthguards you can choose from depending on your budget and what sport you are playing.
The lowest cost and most common is a ready-made mouthguard that isn’t designed to be molded to your mouth. They come in a variety of stock sizes and can be found at most sporting goods stores. Because they do not mold to your teeth, they can be difficult to keep in during play unless your mouth is fully closed.
The next type of mouthguard, which is also commonly found at sporting-goods stores, is one that you can mold at home. These mouthguards are intended to be dropped in boiling water, cooled slightly and then be placed in the mouth of the user so they can mold around the teeth.
Unlike the ready-made mouthguards, the molded ones will stay on your teeth during play, allowing the user to open his/her mouth and even speak while wearing them. They provide better mouth protection than the ready-made type, due in large part to the custom fit around the teeth.
The type that provides the most protection, and is also the most expensive, is a custom-fitted mouthguard designed by a dentist. With this type, your dentist will work with a mouthguard fabricator to create a mouthguard that is designed to fit the exact contours of your mouth. This custom-fit goes beyond what you get from the type you boil. We can customize every detail, including the overall thickness of the mouthguard so that we can maximize protection and comfort. This provides the highest level of protection and is often the route chosen by high-level and professional athletes.
Why You Should Always Wear a Mouthguard
We recommend all of our patients, especially children, wear some type of mouthguard while playing sports. Even if you are playing a non-contact sport, serious injuries to your mouth can still occur through incidental contact. An errant elbow in a soccer game can cause a fractured or chipped tooth. A wild pitch in baseball can cause a tooth to become dislodged from the root. Tripping and having your head collide with someone’s knee in a basketball game can fully dislodge one or more teeth all at once.
Regardless of whether you are wearing a mouthguard or not, if you receive some type of dental injury, it is crucial to contact Singing River Dentistry at 256-712-3186 right away so that we can get you situated with an emergency appointment. When dealing with dental injuries, especially if a tooth has become fully dislodged, getting treatment right away can increase the chances of successfully implanting it back in your mouth.