When Should I Replace My Sports Mouth Guard?
You have a higher risk of oral injury if you play a contact sport. For this reason, it's important you ask for a sports mouth guard before your season starts. Our dentists will be able to create a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and gums. For example, a football mouth guard will help absorb some of the impact the next time you're tackled on the field.
Here’s when you should replace your sports mouth guard.
Your Mouth Guard Lost its Shape
Don’t chew your sports mouth guard. Over time, this bad habit will damage the appliance until it’s frayed or deformed. Another bad habit we see athletes doing is wedging their mouth guards into face masks.
When you do this, the mouth guard loses its shape and effectiveness. You’ll be able to save money in the long run if you don’t have to replace mouth guards as frequently.
The Season Ended
Has the season ended? If so, it’s time to get fitted for a new custom mouth guard. Over time, your mouth guard will get thinner until it’s no longer able to protect your teeth the way it did when new.
Many studies have shown that mouth guards lose their effectiveness once this happens. You need enough protective material to absorb impact. Otherwise, you risk needing emergency dental care the next time you play.
Your Bite Changed
Whether you’re in the middle of orthodontic treatment or recently had a tooth extracted, you’ll need aas soon as your bite changes. The whole point of a custom mouth guard is that it’s shaped perfectly to the contours of your teeth for the ultimate protection.
Call our office if your bite changed recently, especially if the mouth guard feels too tight or loose.
Your Jaw Grew
If your child is still growing, they’ll need a new custom mouth guard every 6 months. The last thing you want is for their sports mouth guard to hold back their jaw while it’s trying to grow. Our dentists recommend parents take their children to our office every 6 months for a new mouth guard. Your child will also need a new mouth guard at the end of the sports season.
During orthodontic treatment, the jaw is often encouraged to grow to eliminate an underbite or overbite. If this is the case for you or your child, you’ll need a new mouth guard to accommodate the new bite.
Even if your child doesn’t play a contact sport, our dentists may still recommend a mouth guard if there’s a risk of dental injury. For example, ice skating carries a risk of injury despite not being a contact sport. If you or your child plays multiple sports, we may ask you to wait until your routine checkup before making the custom mouth guard.
You’re Not Wearing a Custom Mouth Guard
You can buy a boil-and-bite mouth guard from your local sporting goods store. But a generic mouth guard won’t offer you the same level of protection as a custom appliance from one of our dentists.
Getting a custom mouth guard takes two appointments to our office. During your first visit with us, we’ll take impressions of your teeth to send to the lab. Once the lab receives your impressions, they’ll create a custom mouth guard that matches the contours of your teeth and gums.
Our office will call you when your mouth guard is ready. During your second appointment, one of our dentists will have youto ensure it’s a good fit and comfortable.
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This blog post has been updated.