Spring is in the air! April is a great month and is made even better as National Facial Protection Month. With Spring sports under way right now for a lot of our patients' families, Dr. Roberta Garceau and our team thought it would be a good time to remind our athletes how important mouthguards are while participating in contact sports (and even non-contact sports)!
Protecting your smile while playing sports is essential. Injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries received by athletes. Mouthguards help protect your teeth, gums, and braces if you have them. If you participate in basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting or wrestling, it is strongly recommended by Dr. Garceau and the American Dental Association that you wear a mouthguard!
We are completely committed to keeping your team best protected during the sports season, and to celebrate National Protection month, we will provide one free custom mouthguard ($50 value) per family during the month of April!
Types of Mouthguards
Choosing the right mouthguard is important. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard. Of those three, custom mouthguards, like the ones Dr. Garceau crafts for our patients, are your best bet for maximizing your facial protection. These custom mouthguards are perfectly fitted for your mouth and easy to keep clean. Further, a custom mouthguard is designed to help you breathe properly during use. Pre-made and "boil and bite" mouthguards won't offer you the greatest dental and facial protection, and they can make proper breathing during use difficult.
Taking Care of Your Mouthguard
Similar to a retainer, braces, or any other special dental appliance, it is important to take care of your mouthguard by storing it properly and keeping it clean. You should also know when to replace your old mouthguard with a new one. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mouthguard clean and working correctly:
• Gently scrub your mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
• Store your mouthguard in a protective case.
• Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water; it may melt or become deformed.
• Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season. You should also replace your mouthguard if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
• Do not wear a retainer with your mouthguard. If you wear braces, your dentist will help design a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces.
• Do not chew on or cut pieces off of your mouthguard.
• Bring your mouthguard to each dental checkup, and Dr. Garceau can check to make sure it’s still in good shape.
Our goal is to help minimize your chances of a sports related injury! Be sure to ask Dr. Garceau about mouthguards at your next dental checkup!
We hope this helps you remember to always wear a mouth guard and other forms of protective gear when participating in sports this spring and in the summer! We encourage you to give us a call if you have any questions, or ask us on Facebook!
For more information about the importance of mouthguards and facial protection, Dr. Garceau encourages you to head over to the American Dental Association’s website to read a great article on the importance of mouth guards and facial protection.