Protect Your Smile by Protecting Your Teeth

Cosmetic_DentistLove tennis or racquetball? You have the best racquet, the right clothing, shoes, socks, and towel. You have a can of balls, a racquet press, and you are ready to play. “You are still missing an important piece of sports equipment,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix dentistry office. “If you don’t have a mouthguard, you aren’t ready to play organized sports or go out for recreational activities,” she adds.

A mouth guard protects the teeth from damage. In most recreational sports, a mouthguard can protect your teeth, tongue and cheek tissue from damage. In  some sports, like hockey, where the flying puck can reach speeds of 100 mph, damage may not be avoided, but the right mouthguard for the right sport can avoid serious damage or more extensive damage.

The American Dental Association recommends that everyone,  “from children to adults—wear a mouthguard during any recreational activity that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth, including practice and training sessions.”

There are two kinds of mouthgards, the one you can buy in a sports store, boil in water and then mold to your mouth. They vary in cost and effectiveness. The other kind is custom-made by your dentist to fit your specific mouth and work for the sport you play. Custom-made mouthguards are made of high-quality materials, fit your teeth better than an off-the-shelf model, and are made to last.

The American Dental Association lists some characteristics of a well-designed and effective mouthguard:

  • It should be resilient (too rigid and it can cause damage)
  • tear-resistant (to stand up to tough use)
  • comfortable (to last through the game and to encourage frequent wear)
  • It should fit properly (to make wearing easy)
  • be durable (to last through a whole season)
  • easy to clean (so it stays fresh)
  • and not restrict your speech or breathing (to let you cheer when your team wins)

No matter what kind of a mouthguard you choose, the only way it will keep your smile bright and youthful is if you remember to wear it.

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