This week we want to talk about the importance of mouth guards! What fun! It is amazing…the American Association of Orthodontics found that 80% of kids do not wear them since it may not be required of them. Helmets and shoulder pads are worn, yet mouth guards, which are one of the cheapest means of protection, are commonly forgotten about. Did you know that patients who have braces are at greater risk of laceration to their lips and cheeks? Makes sense right? Mouth guards not only save teeth and prevent these lacerations, but they help protect jaws as well. By wearing a protective mouth guard, many unfortunate traumatic episodes between braces and contact sports can be avoided. So let’s remember to wear them!
It is good to know that people should wear mouth guards when playing all contact sports, anything from football to wrestling. Activities like gymnastics that are considered non-contact, or even recreational activites like mountain biking and skateboarding, warrant the need for mouth guards. Many different athletic mouth guards are considered, all providing protection, but varying in comfort and cost. They should generally be tear-resistant, durable, and should not limit speech or breathing. They can also become worn out, like anything that is used repeatedly, and should be replaced if their condition becomes poor.
Please do not use a “boil and bite” mouth guard when wearing braces. Even though they seem more custom-fitting, they can remain stuck to the teeth and can dislodge the braces when pulled out of the mouth. A simple generic fitting mouth guard should do the trick, like the ones below:
This is the type that we offer at Town and Country Orthodontics. We gladly provide them to any of our patients who want them. We encourage our patients to wear them during all of their different sports activities. Your teeth and smile are an important asset to your health and well-being. Let’s remember to do everything we can to protect them. So… if you are active and are in braces, don’t forget your mouth guard!