Mouthguards in Sports: Why it’s an Important Piece

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usage of mouthguard

We are already used to seeing players wear mouthguards in various sports such as hockey and football. These devices give the mouth, especially the teeth, the utmost protection from different types of injury. Nowadays, you can also see it in basketball players. Some of them don’t wear it all the time, though. They only wear it when they think they’re against aggressive players, which shouldn’t be the case since nobody can predict what will happen during a game.

Mouthguard Choices

When choosing a mouthguard, you need to know what suits you best and which is within your budget. There are three types of mouthguards:

  • Custom-made is the best choice since it will fit according to a player’s oral make-up. These are the most expensive, but also the most comfortable.
  • The second one is the boil and bite. This type is usually available at sporting goods stores and drugstores. It’s called that way because of the procedure involved to make it — the mouthguard is boiled to soften, then you insert it into the mouth and bite it for it to take shape.
  • The last is the stock mouthguard which is the most inexpensive. It’s already pre-formed and players can put it in right away. Those on a budget can buy this almost anywhere, although talking and breathing won’t be as easy as the customized version.

Uses of Mouthguards

Apart from those who want to keep their complete set of teeth, people with braces or a fixed bridge will greatly benefit from a mouthguard. A blow to the face can cause hematoma or a wound brought by the metals used in braces. These may be temporary, but broken teeth are permanent and a different issue altogether. The worst part of this situation is if a tooth extraction is the only solution.

It’s easy to prevent mouth-related incidents with the help of a basketball mouthguard. While it’s common to use one on the upper teeth only, many practitioners suggest buying for the lower teeth as well.

Caring Tips for Mouthguards

American football player with his mouthguard hanging

A mouthguard does a good job of protecting you, so you also have to protect it from premature wear and tear by caring for it properly.

  • Rinse the mouthguard before and after using it. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste at the end of the day.
  • Bring the mouthguard to a professional cleaner for thorough cleaning. This is also the time to check if it’s still in good condition and if it still has a good fit.
  • Put the mouthguard in a dry container when not in use. Avoid shaking the container to prevent damage.
  • Too much sun or hot water can damage your mouthguard. Always store it in a cool, dry place.
  • Check for any damage before each use. This is to prevent irritation that a damaged mouthguard can bring.
  • Keep your mouthguard away from your pets. Once they bite it, there’s a high possibility that you’ll need replacement.

Don’t underestimate what a mouthguard can do. Choose the right one for each use to avoid problems. Most of all, use it to protect your mouth whatever physical activity you’re playing.

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