Are you worried about your teeth when you or your children play sports? You should be. Athletic mouthguards protect the teeth during sports events and competitions, significantly reducing the risk of dental injuries. If you’re a fan of playing sports, it’s hugely beneficial to consider investing in a mouthguard. At Birmingham Dental, we provide high-quality athletic mouthguards for enthusiasts of all ages.
What is an Athletic Mouthguard?
Mouthguards are worn over the top row of teeth during sports to help prevent an oral injury. They protect against broken teeth, cut lips, and other damage to the mouth.
Mouthguards are an essential piece of athletic equipment for anyone participating in a sport that involves falls, body contact, or flying equipment. This advice is true for team sports such as football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and hockey. We also recommend a mouthguard if you skateboard, participate in gymnastics, or mountain bike.
Designs typically fall into three categories:
- Stock mouthguards: Non-customized mouthguards are available “off the shelf” at drug and sporting goods stores. These low-cost options are also the least effective. They come in limited sizes, and there’s no fit adjustment for the athlete’s unique mouth shape and size. While they are better than nothing, the ADA doesn’t consider stock mouthguards an acceptable facial protective device.
- Mouth-formed protectors: These are the most common type of mouth guards. A step up from stock mouthguards, mouth-formed protectors are made of thermoplastic lined with acrylic or rubber. Boiling the mouthguard softens the thermoplastic, so it molds to your teeth. Unfortunately, “boil-and-bite” products come in limited sizes, lack proper extensions, and often fail to cover all your teeth.
- Custom-made mouthguards: The best type of mouthguard available is one custom-made by a dental professional with the athlete’s individual needs in mind. Even the best over-the-counter product can’t account for the athlete’s age, growing jaw, or erupting teeth the way custom athletic mouthguards can. They are resilient, comfortable, easy to clean, and fitted based on the exact mold of the athlete.
What Does the Process Involve?
The first step your dentist will take when creating your custom-fit mouthguard will be to take an impression of your teeth. We do this by using a dental putty that forms to each tooth’s crevices and creates an exact mold of your smile – unlike regular store-bought mouthguards, which only form to the general shape of the tooth line.
We use this mold in our dental office or send it to a lab where the mouthguard is created. The structure is made by layering superheated plastic to precise specifications and is then cooled to create a highly durable piece of dental wear.
Mouthguards are Essential to Preventative Dentistry
At Birmingham Dental, we believe in preventative dentistry. Preventative dentistry means we hope to prevent dental problems before they occur, rather than treating patients for a problem they could have avoided. Mouthguards are an essential aspect of this approach. For example, it’s easier and less expensive to wear a mouthguard during sports than to treat a broken tooth that occurred when you were tackled during football while not wearing a mouthguard. Not to mention less painful.
Custom-Fit Mouthguards in Birmingham
Playing sports is exhilarating and enjoyable, but it can also be dangerous. We recommend a mouthguard for any physical activity that might injure the mouth during every training session and competitive match, game, or contest. Mouthguards are suitable for beginners, intermediates, and elite athletes.
We want to keep you or your child safe while playing sports. Our mouthguards are made out of a tough material that can take a beating, and we offer a variety of colors and styles. You can choose the perfect one to match your personality. And our experienced professionals will make sure it fits perfectly in your mouth for maximum protection.
Whether you are considering an over-the-counter mouthguard or think a custom-fit option might be the best for you, be sure to ask us about it. Dr. Coburn, Dr. Sgalia, and the knowledgeable and friendly team at Birmingham Dental would be happy to help you.
We’ll help you ensure it is a fun and safe game – without worrying about the teeth. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our office today!