Types of Mouthguards
Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard from your orthodontist. When choosing a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable, well fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly.
If you wear braces or a retainer, it is imperative for you to wear a mouthguard during contact sports. Your doctor can show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect your smile.
Taking Care of Mouthguards
Mouthguards come in different shapes and sizes; ask your dentist which is best for you. Like 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, as well as knowing 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, because it may melt or become deformed.
- Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season and when 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 leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water.
- Do not chew on or cut pieces off your mouthguard.
- Bring your mouthguard to each dental checkup, so your dentist can check to make sure it’s still in good shape!