Mouth Guards in
Madison Heights, Michigan

Anyone who participates in a sport that carries a significant risk of injury should wear a mouth protector. Sports like basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and volleyball all pose risks to your gum tissues, as well as your teeth. We usually think of football and hockey as the most dangerous to the teeth, but nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball.

Mouth Guards in Madison Heights

A helmet can prevent serious injuries such as concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, incidents of unconsciousness, jaw fractures and neck injuries by helping to avoid situations where the lower jaw gets jammed into the upper jaw. Mouth guards are effective in moving soft tissue in the oral cavity away from the teeth, preventing laceration and bruising of the lips and cheeks, especially for those who wear orthodontic appliances.

Mouth protectors, which typically cover the upper teeth, can cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth. If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, a mouth protector is available for these teeth as well.

A properly fitted mouth protector may be especially important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouth protector also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, limiting the risk of soft tissue injuries.

Although mouth protectors typically only cover the upper teeth, your dentist or orthodontist may suggest that you use a mouth protector on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth too. If you have a retainer or other removable appliance, do not wear it during any contact sports.

Types of Mouth Guards

There are three types of mouth protectors:

  • Stock - Inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don't fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
  • Boil and Bite - These can be purchased at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They should be softened in water, then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. If you don't follow the directions carefully, you can wind up with a poor-fitting mouth protector.
  • Custom-Fitted - Made by your dentist for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized, they can offer a better fit than anything you can buy off the shelf.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you play sports, your chance of accidentally damaging your teeth increases significantly. While many people assume that only heavy-contact sports like football and hockey pose a risk to your teeth, nearly half of sports-related injuries are connected to baseball and basketball.

The bottom line is that participating in nearly any sport carries a risk of dental injury. That’s why it’s better to be safe than sorry and visit your dentist for a customized mouthguard that will protect your smile.

There are three primary types of mouth guards available. Stock mouth guards are the least effective since they’re pre-formed and not fitted to your teeth. Boil and bite mouth guards are another option that’s available in sporting goods stores. These devices are softened in water to help them adapt to the shape of your mouth, but many patients still wind up with a poor fit.

Customized mouth guards are made by your dentist to fit your unique bite. This level of personalization allows for a perfect fit that’s more comfortable and effective than other mouth guards. While you may save money by buying a mouth guard over-the-counter, you won’t get nearly the same level of protection for your teeth.

Contact sports aren’t the only sports that pose a risk to your teeth. The American Dental Association and other experts recommend wearing a customized mouth guard if you play any of the following sports:

  • Baseball
  • Boxing
  • Field Hockey
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial Arts
  • Racquetball
  • Roller Hockey
  • Rugby
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Surfing
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Wrestling

Mouth guards are safe as long as you consult with your dentist before getting one. An ill-fitting mouthguard can cause your teeth to shift, so it’s crucial to get your appliance personalized and make sure it fits just right.

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At Art Dentistry Center, your comfort and your smile are our top priorities.

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