Back to School Sports–Don’t Forget a Mouthguard!

Custom Mouthguard in Fort Collins

School is starting again and that means Fall sports! Protect your child’s teeth by ensuring they are protected with a custom mouthguard. We can help you determine which kind is best for your child, the importance of a proper fit, and instructions on when and how to effectively use them. Mouthguards can protect your child’s teeth from chips and breaks while also protecting their lips, face, tongue and jaw from injuries as well. Children benefit from a discussion with their dentist on the importance of wearing mouthguards.  We can help educate them so they hear it both from you and from us!


Why the ADA Stands Behind the Use of Mouthguards

The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) reported that 13-39% of all dental injuries are sports-related. And, we should add, that the majority of the injuries in this statistic are injuries that occurred because mouthguards were NOT being used. The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety took the JADA statement even farther by reporting that dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports participation. According to their research, an an athlete is 60 times more likely to have an oral injury when NOT wearing a protective mouthguard.  Sadly, these oral injuries often result in permanent damage that could have been avoided by using a mouthguard.  


The Importance of Proper Fit

Knowing how to wear a mouthguard isn’t very complicated, but there are some definite do’s and don’ts.  One of the big do’s is to make sure that your mouthguard fit is accurate.  Custom-made mouthguards, designed by our dentists in our Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies office ensure that you are getting the perfect fit for your bite and smile. A proper fit is important to ensure that your teeth will be properly protected during activity.


Custom-Made Mouthguards vs. Store-Bought Options

An effective mouthguard should be durable, easy to clean, resist tears, and should not limit your speech or breathing abilities. Custom-made mouthguards meet this criteria in ways store-bought options just can’t.  Custom-made mouthguards are less bulky, more comfortable and more-likely to stay in place during collision activities. Custom-made mouthguards also allow for optimal oxygen flow. (A common complaint of store-bought, stock-mouth and/or boil and bite mouthguards is that they make breathing difficult and are bulky). The more oxygen an athlete can allow his/her system the better his/her performance.  Another great thing about custom-made mouthguards is that they can work for patients that wear braces giving them the protection they need.


How to Effectively Use and Wear a Mouthguard

For most patients, you will only wear a mouthguard for your upper teeth. But, if you wear braces, or if your sport involves more risk, guards for both upper and lower teeth may be necessary.  During your consultation with Dr. Murri or Dr. Willey, they can determine what will work best for you or your child.  The instructions for mouthguard use are simple:


  1. Don’t chew on them when you wear them. This breaks down their effectiveness and longevity.
  2. Don’t cut or alter them. Custom-made mouthguards are fabricated for your exact mouth structures and should not be altered. Altering your mouthguard reduces the effectiveness of the mouthguard impact zones.
  3. Store it in a cool/dry place. Heat will warp your mouthguard and destroy the fit of it.
  4. Recognize fit changes. Overtime, damage to your mouthguard, or growth changes can impact the fit of your mouthguard. To ensure you are protected, remember that mouthguards shouldn’t require biting or clenching to stay in place. They should fit snugly and not dislodge with impact.  Your mouthguard should not be able to float around in your mouth or come loose. You should be able to remove it by pulling with your fingers, but other than that, it should not move around.
  5. Wear it! In order for mouthguards to do their job, you have to wear them during activities! If you are finding that your fit is not comfortable, consult  Dr. Murri or Dr. Willey so we can improve your design.  We want you wearing your mouthguard and if you are neglecting to use it because it is uncomfortable, let us know!


Call for a Mouthguard Consultation Today

As a parent, you can make the biggest difference in your child’s long-term dental health and development. Protecting their teeth with a custom mouthguard can give you the peace of mind that their mouth is equipped for safety when playing sports.  Schedule your free consultation or visit today by calling our Fort Collins office at (970) 223-6101.  For your convenience, you can also reach us after regular business hours by submitting a contact or appointment request online using the form below.