The warmer months are right ahead of us, which means many people will be again picking up their favorite outdoor sports and activities. With this, it’s also the time of year when we see many more dental injuries. Many of these traumatic experiences can be prevented with use of a mouthguard. According to the American Dental Association, over 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year by use of mouthguards. Mouthguards are helpful in not only preventing injury to the teeth, but the soft tissues and lips of the face.
There are many types of mouthguards available on the market today. Stock mouthguards or “boil and bite” mouthguards can be found at many sporting goods stores. These mouthguards tend to be bulky and can make it difficult to breathe. “Boil and Bite” mouthguards may fit slightly better, but are still bulky, and if the directions aren’t followed perfectly, the result can be even worse. Dr. Fitton and May recommend custom fitting mouthguards. Custom fitting mouthguards can be tailored to the patient and activities needs. These mouthguards are made from dental impressions of the patients mouth, and also allow the patient to customize the colors and look of the mouthguard. They fit perfectly to the patients teeth, allowing them to talk clearly and breathe well. Since they fit much better, athletes are more inclined to keep them in their mouths correctly. Patients also have the choice to have an attachment to their football or hockey helmet. Our on site lab allows us quick turnaround, and most of the time mouthguards can be fabricated within a day or two.
Patients with braces are also at special risk for dental and soft tissue injuries during sports. Special mouthguards that are loose often needed to allow enough space for the bracket, although custom fitting ones are still an option. Dr. Fitton and May recommend replacing the mouthguard each year to accommodate for growth and wear, to ensure the proper level of protection.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to have a mouthguard made, please call our office at (847) 381-3927.