A sports guard is a flexible appliance that is worn in athletic and recreational activities to protect teeth from trauma. Our office unanimously supports the use of sports guards for both children and adults in a variety of sports activities.
A sports guard can prevent serious injuries such as broken teeth, jaw fractures, cerebral hemorrhage, and neck injuries by helping to avoid situations where the lower jaw gets jammed into the upper jaw. Sportguards may also reduce the incidence and severity of concussions.
Anytime there is a strong chance for contact with other participants or hard surfaces, it is advisable to wear a sports guard. Players who participate in hockey, soccer, basketball, softball, football, martial arts, volleyball, squash, racquetball, and wrestling should wear sports guards while practicing and competing.
There are basically three types of sports guards.
Stock or ready-made sports guards are the least expensive and can be bought at most sports stores. Since they’re pre-formed, they often don’t fit very well. They make it difficult to breathe and speak and are often bulky, loose, and uncomfortable.
Boil-and-bite sports guards, available at most sporting goods stores, may offer a slightly better fit. You can mold these guards to fit your mouth by boiling them in water and biting into the warm plastic.
Our office can design and construct a custom-fitted sportsguard made from a mold of your teeth. While this type of guard is more expensive than others, it offers the best protection, fit, comfort level and prevention of possible injury.