Choose a mouthguard that
- is resilient and tear-resistant;
- fits properly and is comfortable;
- is easy to clean;
- does not restrict speech or breathing.
Your dentist can make a custom mouthguard for you or your child that is comfortable and offers superior protection. Because treating a sports-related dental injury can cost thousands of dollars, a custom mouthguard is a worthwhile investment. While custom mouthguards are considered by many to be the most protective option, patients for whom a custom mouthguard is not feasible (for example, because of cost) should discuss other types of mouthguards with their dentist.
TAKE CARE OF THE MOUTHGUARD
Patients need to take care of their mouthguards by doing the following:
- rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste;
- occasionally clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly;
- transport the mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents;
- make sure not to leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water;
- check for wear and replace the mouthguard when necessary.
GET THE MOST FROM A MOUTHGUARD
To get the best service from a mouthguard, you should
- not wear removable appliances, such as retainers, with a mouthguard;
- wear a custom-fitted mouthguard if you wear braces or have a protruding jaw, receding chin or cleft palate; - not chew on or cut pieces off your mouthguard; - wear the mouthguard during practice sessions as well as during games;
- schedule regular dental checkups and visit your dentist before each playing season;
- bring your mouthguard to each dental visit.