Protecting your smile while playing sports is essential when you have braces. We offer mouth guards in Staten Island, New York, to help protect your teeth and gums from injury. If you participate in basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, rugby, track and field, skateboarding, skiing and snowboarding, skydiving, soccer, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting or wrestling, it is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that you wear a mouth guard.

Types of mouth guards

Choosing the right mouth guard is essential. There are three basic types of mouth guards: the pre-made mouth guard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouth guard and a custom-made mouth guard from your orthodontist. When you choose a mouth guard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well-fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean and does not prevent you from breathing properly.
Pre-made mouth guards and boil-and-bite mouth guards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores, while custom-made mouth guards are specially designed by your orthodontist to provide optimal protection against mouth injuries. If you wear braces or a retainer, it is imperative for you to wear a mouth guard during contact sports. Your doctor can show you how to wear a mouth guard properly and how to choose the right mouth guard to protect your smile.

Taking care of your mouth guard

Similar to a retainer, braces or any other special dental appliance, it is important to take care of your mouth guard by storing it properly and keeping it clean, as well as knowing when to replace your old mouth guard with a new one. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mouth guard clean and working correctly:

  • Gently scrub your mouth guard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Store your mouth guard in a protective case.
  • Do not leave your mouth guard in the sun or in hot water, because it may melt or become deformed.
  • Replace your mouth guard at the beginning of every new sports season. You should also replace your mouth guard if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
  • Do not wear a retainer with your mouth guard. If you wear braces, your dentist will help design a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your braces.
  • Do not chew on or cut pieces off of your mouth guard. Mouth guards come in different shapes and sizes; ask your dentist which is best for you.
  • Bring your mouth guard to each dental checkup, so your dentist can check to make sure it’s still in good shape!

Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries incurred by athletes. Our goal is to help minimize your chances of a sports-related injury to your smile. Call 718-948-5100 today or be sure to ask our orthodontist about mouth guards at your next appointment to Melvin H. Pearson DDS, PC.