How to Make the Most of Your Mouthguard

How to Make the Most of Your Mouthguard

Certain sports naturally put your face in danger — flying pucks, thrown bats, errant elbows, and misaimed balls can all take out your teeth. Mouthguards protect your smile from severe damage and may even keep you in the game. But not every athlete gets the most out of their mouthguard.

Here, our team at OK Tooth in Midtown, New York, explains what a mouthguard can do for you and what you can do to reap the most benefits from it.

Why you need a mouthguard

You may be tempted to play without a mouthguard, thinking that the odds of getting hit in the face are minimal. But the statistics tell a different story:

These numbers should be enough to convince all athletes to wear a mouthguard, but studies show that only about 7% of soccer, baseball, and softball players opt to protect their teeth with a mouthguard. Only two-thirds of football players — a sport that mandates mouthguards — wear them. 

Another study looked into high school basketball players in Florida and found that 31% of them sustained mouth injuries; 53% sustained more than one. Yet less than half of them wore mouthguards. Of those who did, only two players sustained an oral injury. 

Wearing a mouthguard works. Here’s how to get the most out of yours.

Wear your mouthguard

It may seem obvious, but many athletes who own a mouthguard never use it, or they use it inconsistently. It only works if it’s in your mouth.

Make sure your mouthguard fits

You have options when it comes to mouthguards: You can buy a ready-made product, get a boil-and-bite version that molds to your mouth, or come in to see us for a custom-fitted mouthguard.

The right fit is essential for two important reasons:

And if you wear braces, you need a professional fit to cover your hardware.

Don’t chew on your mouthguard

The star point guard of the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry, famously chews on his mouthguard during games. He flips it around in and out of his mouth, gnawing on it more like a dog’s chew toy than an important dental appliance. Although we’re glad he uses a mouthguard, this sets a bad example for other athletes — especially kids.

Chewing on your mouthguard wears down the enamel on your teeth and leaves them vulnerable to chips, fractures, infection, and decay. It also creates tiny tears and scratches in the material that harbor bacteria and compromises the integrity of the appliance, wearing it down and rendering it useless.

Keep your mouthguard clean and protected

When you get your mouthguard at OK Tooth, we make sure you know how to care for it properly so it will serve you well and last all season. This includes gently brushing it after use, storing it in a protective case, and avoiding extreme temperatures.

To get a perfect-fitting mouthguard that feels great and protects your smile without distracting you from your game, schedule an appointment at OK Tooth for a custom-made mouthguard. Request an appointment online anytime, or call our friendly staff Monday through Friday.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why Isn’t an Oral Hygiene Routine Enough?

People avoid dental visits for lots of reasons, but one of the most common is that they believe brushing and flossing alone is enough to keep their oral health in top shape. Here’s why that’s not the case.

Encouraging Facts About Tooth Extraction

If having a tooth pulled sounds like the last thing you’d want, you may be surprised to learn that the good outweighs the bad. Here’s why a tooth extraction may be the best thing for you, your smile, and your health.

Can a Dentist Help My Snoring?

Your bed partner nudges you, shakes you, and finally says, “Stop!” If you don’t quit snoring, the next step is getting ousted from the bedroom altogether. Save your relationship and your health with a little help from your dentist.

4 Reasons to Consider Dental Implants

When you lose a tooth, ignoring it isn’t an option if you want to salvage your oral health. But you do have choices when it comes to tooth replacements. Here’s why dental implants should be at the top of your list.

What to Do When Something’s Stuck Between Your Teeth

New York’s food scene rivals that of any city in the world. Whether you’re noshing on gourmet cuisine or just having a snack at home, you’re bound to end up with a morsel stuck in your teeth occasionally. Find out how to dislodge it safely.