The impact that missing teeth can have is rarely considered before it happens. You may never have thought about it, but losing permanent teeth would affect your life in many ways. Your confidence could wane, you might not smile as much, and eating certain foods could become nearly impossible. Shattuck Dentistry & Braces encourages all athletes to explore the option of a custom crafted mouth guard, designed specifically to protect their very own teeth.
What’s the Difference
Most sanctioned sports leagues require some form of protection gear in many sports and most athletes grow up wearing mouth guards. There are benefits to having a specialized athletic guard over one that isn’t custom made for your mouth.
First, the dental protection of a custom fitted athletic guard is superior. The time, trouble and expense of getting a properly fitted one would be made up for instantly in a single accident. Also, one-size-fits-all athletic guards often restrict airways to some extent, custom formed dental athletic guards can actually improve it. Since breathing affects so much of athletic performance, the right athletic guard can make the difference between a good enough athlete and a great one!
There are three basic styles of guard. There are ready made guards that come with helmets and are available in any sporting goods department. There are boil and bite guards that are first softened, then fitted to the athletes mouth, which are better. Then there are custom fitted dental athletic guards.
What to Look For
Unlike one-size-fits-all options, a dentist made athletic guard can be customized not just for the athlete, but the sport as well. A good mouth guard should be resilient and tear resistant. It should be comfortable, fit well, and be able to hang from a strap from a helmet or faceguard while not in use.
Talk with Dr. Burris and Dr. Mueller to make sure a top only guard provides enough protection for you. For some patients a bottom guard may also be suggested.