Mouthguards help protect your mouth and teeth from damage during sports or activities. They may also be used for people who grind their teeth during sleep to prevent tooth damage and wear and tear. It’s essential to use a properly fitted mouthguard to ensure your teeth are safe in contact sports. A loose or poorly fitted may fall out and not offer adequate protection for your teeth.
If you’re wondering how a mouthguard should fit and why you need to wear it, , we’re here to help. Read on to find out more about sports and night guards and you must be sure the device fits correctly.
How a Mouthguard Works
Did you know that 40% of dental injuries are due to sports-related injuries? Despite this, nearly two-thirds of Australians don’t use a mouthguard when playing sports. This can result in broken and loose teeth, broken jaws and cut tongues.
A properly fitted mouthguard spreads out the impact of a blow to the face or jaw and helps prevent the force from doing too much damage. It cradles the teeth and prevents injury to the tongue while reducing the impact on your jaw. Without a sports mouthguard, the force is taken directly into the bones and teeth and can require years of medical treatment to fix.
How Should a Mouthguard Fit?
A mouthguard will sit in your mouth, usually cradling your upper teeth. However, just getting it in isn’t enough. How should a mouthguard fit? Securely.
Ideally, you won’t need to clench your teeth to hold the mouthguard in place. It will sit perfectly in your mouth, not requiring you to move it into place repeatedly. It will stay in place throughout your sports session.
Mouthguards cover the upper teeth entirely and part of the upper gums. However, it’s essential the guard not cover much of the palate. It needs to absorb the blow and spread it out, not focus on a single point in the mouth.
Here are some signs that your sports mouthguard doesn’t fit properly:
It Moves When You Touch It
Your guard must stay firmly in place, even if you push it with your tongue. If you feel it slipping or falling out as soon as you poke it or touch it, the mouthguard does not fit.
You Need to Keep Your Mouth Closed
Does the guard shift or fall out when you open your mouth? A properly fitted guard will stay put even if you open your mouth. Despite this, you should try to keep your mouth closed while playing sports, so the guard can do its job of spreading the impact out.
It Wobbles On Your Teeth
As you play, does the mouthguard wobble around a little? If you use a night guard, is it coming off your teeth when you roll over? There should be no movement at all, and it should remain fixed to your upper teeth throughout the session.
How to Take Care of Your Mouthguard
Like any piece of equipment, your mouthguard will last longer if you take care of it. As soon as you finish using it, you should clean it. This requires rinsing and then brushing with mild soap and a toothbrush. It’s best to eliminate all bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay. In 2017-2018, the average adult had 4.4 missing teeth due to decay and gum disease. Cleaning your teeth and your mouthguards will help reduce this number.
Rinse the guard thoroughly and let it air dry for the best results.
Once a week, you should deep clean your night guard or sports mouthguard. This is done by soaking in vinegar for 30 minutes and then rinsing. Soak another half hour in hydrogen peroxide before rinsing thoroughly and allowing the guard to air dry.
Where to Get a Fitted Mouthguard
Whether looking for a night guard to prevent teeth grinding or a protective sports mouthguard, you need a good fit. A properly fitted mouthguard is best provided by your dentist. While there are other options, such as the boil and bite guards, they are not as secure as a customised mouthguard.Do you play sports? Do you want to prevent injury to your teeth, face, and jaw? A dentist will provide the best quality mouthguard, regardless of the use. Then you’ll definitely want to contact The Dental Family Beaumaris and schedule an appointment to get a professionally fitted guard.