What Is A Sports Guard?
A sports guard is a dental appliance that is worn over the top teeth to protect the teeth and prevent injury. Sports guards work by absorbing the impact of a blow to teeth and distributing the forces across all teeth. By evenly distributing the force, it reduces the risk of damage to the teeth and gums.
Who Needs To Wear A Sports Guard?
Regardless of if you are an amateur athlete, an elite athlete, or just partake in sports casually, a custom-made sports guard is beneficial to everyone. Sports guards are recommended for any type of sport that involves contact or moving projectiles. Examples of these sports include basketball, football, soccer, boxing, hockey, etc. However, there are other sports that may not be at the top of your mind. Sports such as snowboarding, skiing, skateboarding, certain types of biking, etc. should be performed with a sports guard. Sports such as weightlifting where athletes clench their teeth while lifting also benefit from a custom-made sports guard.
Types Of Sports Guards
Generic Sports Guards
Premade or generic sports guards are sold in most sporting goods stores or department stores. These are the least expensive option, however, they provide minimal protection when compared to a custom-made sports guard. Since these types are usually a one size fits all, wearers find that they are either too small or too bulky. As well, they are prone to falling out of the mouth if the fitment is not great.
Boil & Bite Sports Guards
Some sports guards require boiling to soften the material. Once the material is softened, it is placed in the mouth and moulded to fit the teeth. These are slightly better than the generic types, however, getting an accurate fit is still difficult.
Custom-Made Sports Guards
This type of sports guard is made by your dental office and offers the best fit, protection and comfort. Your dental professional makes an impression of your mouth and creates a sports guard that is designed to fit your mouth properly.