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Why Are Sports Guards Necessary?

Why Are Sports Guards Necessary?

If you play or have ever played a contact sport, you have probably worn a sports guard. Sports guards are recommended for any sport where there is a risk of contact between people or inanimate objects such as sticks, balls or pucks. Sports guards are recommended for sports such as soccer, hockey, basketball, football and lacrosse.

Common Oral Injuries from Sports 

  • Tooth chips and fractures (when a break happens on the crown of a tooth)
  • Root fractures (when a break occurs on the root of a tooth)
  • Tooth avulsion (when a tooth gets knocked out)
  • Tooth intrusion (when a tooth gets pushing further into the jaw bone)
  • Tooth luxation (when a tooth moves from its original position and gets pushed back or forward in the jaw)

How Do Sports Guards Work? 

Sports guards work by absorbing a blow and dispersing it throughout the guard. The guard also acts as a cushion between upper and lower teeth to prevent traumatic tooth-on tooth injury. Sports guards prevent irreversible damage to the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth. 

Types of Sports Guards 

Boil and Bite – This type of sports guard is inexpensive but doesn’t offer the best protection because it is not designed specifically for your mouth. A boil and bite sports guard can be purchased at a store and requires the material to be heated up and then bit into to form a mould of your jaw. The sports guard won’t have the ideal fit, but it is better than not wearing a guard. Boil and bite sports guards are recommended for children whose mouths are growing and changing.

Professionally Made – The ideal sports guard is professionally made. A dental impression will be taken of your upper and lower teeth, and the sports guard will be fabricated based on the impressions. The sports guard will be fitted and adjusted to give the best fit. 

Caring for Your Sports Guard 

  • Store your sports guard in a case when not using it 
  • Clean your sports guard after each use with warm water and a separate toothbrush 
  • Never used hot water on your sports guard as it could warp the material.
  • If your sports guard is loose and you can pop it out with your tongue, it no longer fits properly and won’t offer the best protection, and a new guard should be made. 

If you are interested in having a sports guard made or have any questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

What Is a Sports Guard and Why Might You Need One?

What Is a Sports Guard and Why Might You Need One?

Sports guards are required and beneficial for any sport where there is a risk of contact with objects (such as a ball, puck or stick) or another person. Examples of contact sports include hockey, basketball, football and lacrosse. A sports guard consists of a plastic tray that covers your upper teeth and palate to prevent any tooth or jaw injury. Sports guards work by reducing/eliminating the amount of trauma sustained during an injury by taking the force and dispersing it throughout the guard. The guard acts as a cushion between the upper and lower jaw. 

There are two main types of sports guards, professionally made sports guards and store-bought sports guards. These two options offer very different protection and come in at a very different price point. 

Store-Bought Sports Guard

Store-bought sports guards come in a universal shape and are made out of plastic, which is boiled and bit into to leave the jaw’s shape for a comfortable fit. A boil and bite sports guard offers protection for the teeth and jaw, but because it doesn’t fit precisely to each individual mouth, it lacks the quality of a professionally made sports guard. Boil and bite sports guards are recommended for kids whose mouths are changing and growing. Around 14 years of age, it is recommended to switch over to a professionally made sports guard. 

Professionally Made 

A professionally made sports guard is fabricated in a lab, specifically for each mouth. The first step in the process is to have impressions of your mouth to give an exact mould of your teeth and jaw. After about a week, you will return to your dental office to try the guard in and make sure it fits snug. Because professionally made sports guards are made for each mouth, they offer a far superior fit and better protection against tooth and jaw trauma. 

How to Care For Your Sports Guard 

  • Clean your sports guard after each use with a separate toothbrush and warm water 
  • Avoid hot water on your sports guard as this can warp the plastic material and alter the fit 
  • Store your sports guard in a clean sports guard case 
  • If you notice any cracks or chips in your sports guard, bring it in to the dentist for a check 
  • Wear your sports guard any time there is a risk of a contact injury, even during practice 
  • If you can pop your sports guard out with your tongue, the fit is too loose, and it requires adjustment 

If you believe you would benefit from a sports guard or have any questions about how they work, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

 

Learn How A Nightguard Can Help To Protect Your Smile

Learn How A Nightguard Can Help To Protect Your Smile

At least 10% of the population grinds or clenches their teeth at night. This habit is called “bruxism” and is a form of sleep movement disorder. You may not be aware of it until your dentist professional sees signs of wear on your teeth. Symptoms of clenching and grinding consist of headaches, neck aches, and soreness in the muscles of the cheeks and jaw. As well as pain in the jaw joint and chipping, fractures, and sensitivity in the teeth. A nightguard works by preventing tooth on tooth contact of the teeth. Listed below are a few benefits of wearing a night guard. 

Preventing Tooth Wear With A Nightguard

One of the most common effects of clenching and grinding is wear to the biting surfaces of the teeth. Often, with grinding, the teeth will have a more flattened shortened appearance. With clenching, indentations of the opposing cusps can be seen. Sometimes these signs won’t be noticed until you see your dentist or dental hygienist. Wear to the biting surfaces of the teeth can lead to sensitivity from the loss of enamel. Sometimes if the wear is deep, a filling may need to be placed to protect the enamel that remains. Wearing a nightguard doesn’t stop clenching or grinding, but it places the wear on the nightguard itself.

nightguard toronto dentist west village dental clinic

Preventing Chips and Fractures 

Chips and fractures of the teeth surfaces can occur from clenching and grinding. When a spot is worn down too much and becomes thin, sometimes it can chip off. Fillings must be placed to restore these areas and wearing a nightguard will prevent them from occurring.  

Preventing Bone Loss 

Constant excess pressure on the teeth can cause the bone and gum support from around the teeth to slowly recede away. This happens because the teeth and bone support are not meant to bear such an excess load, and the cells begin to resorb. This process happens over time slowly, but once gum and bone are lost, they cannot grow back on their own. Wearing a nightguard prevents the excessive force on the teeth that cause recession and bone loss.  

Preventing TMJ Issues 

Grinding and clenching can cause pain and soreness with the jaw joint, called the temporomandibular joint. The TMJ (for short) is not meant to bare the excessive force of clenching and grinding and can sustain injury overtime. Wearing a nightguard adds a cushion between the teeth that absorbs the forces and protects the jaw.  

If you believe you are clenching or grinding and would benefit from a nightguard, or have any questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Why Custom-made Sportsguards Are Necessary

Why Custom-made Sportsguards Are Necessary

It is vital to wear a sports guard anytime you are participating in contact sports. This means if you are participating in a sport where your mouth could contact another person or object, such as hockey, football and basketball. Sports guards are thin, pliable pieces of plastic formed to your teeth to protect your teeth and jaw from injury related to sports. Injuries to the mouth are the most common facial injury in sports.

Types of Sports Guards

Boil and Bite – A boil and bite sports guard can be purchased at a store for less than a custom fitted sports guard. Once purchased, the material is heated up, and the wearer will bite into the material, leaving an impression of their teeth. The boil and bite sports guard offers protection for the teeth and jaw, but it lacks the protection offered by a custom-made sports guard. Boil and bite sports guards are recommended for children who are growing and losing teeth, as the investment for a custom mouth guard would only last a few months before it no longer fits. Between the ages of 13 to 16, when growth slows, and all adult teeth are in, it is recommended to switch from a boil and bite to a custom-made sports guard.

Custom Made – This type of sports guard is made in a dental office and fits precisely to the wearer’s mouth with a tight seal. An impression of the teeth is taken, and an exact model is made out of a piece of flexible plastic. A custom sports guard has a tight seal and offers the best protection against force and trauma.

custom mouth guard toronto dentist st clair

How to Care for your Sports Guard

Clean the sports guard after each use with a separate toothbrush and some warm water. Never use hot or boiling water on the guard as it may deform the shape. Never bite or chew on your sports guard. If the sports guard is no longer fitting as it did at the start, or if there are signs of chips and wear, it is time to replace the guard. An ill-fitting sports guard offers substantially less protection than a well-fitting sports guard.

If you believe you may benefit from a custom sports guard, or have any questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.