Since an injury to the face could damage orthodontic brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances, a properly fitted mouthguard is particularly important for individuals who wear braces. It acts as a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, limiting the risk of lacerations and tears.
To ensure proper fit, a mouthguard is best fitted by a dental professional.
There are three types of mouthguards:
- Stock mouthguards: least expensive, but offer less protection because the fit adjustment is limited.
- Boil and bite: when heated and placed in the mouth, the mouthguard molds itself to the teeth and sets.
- Custom-made: made by a dentist from a cast of the patients mouth. They are more expensive, but offer the best protection, fit and comfort.
Be sure to rinse your mouthguard with cold water before and after each use. Clean it regularly with a toothbrush and toothpaste, and soak it in mouthwash. Avoid leaving your mouthguard in direct sunlight and rinsing it with hot water—doing so can cause distortion or damage. When not in use, store it in a firm, well ventilated plastic container.
Discuss with your dentist which mouthguard option is best for you or your child. Remember, the cost of this simple form of protection is far less than the cost of the treatment of a sports related dental injury.
About the Pennsylvania Dental Association
Founded in 1868, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) is comprised of approximately 6,000 member dentists. It is a constituency of the American Dental Association (ADA), the largest and oldest national dental society in the world. PDA's mission is to improve the public health, promote the art and science of dentistry and represent the interests of its member dentists and their patients. PDA is the voice of dentistry in
. For more information on PDA, visit our website at padental.org.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Dental Association