How to protect your teeth while playing sports

How to protect your teeth while playing sports

Q. What do these sports have in common?

  • Ball games
  • Contact sports
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice hockey
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing
  • Skydiving

A. If you participate in them, there is a risk of damaging your teeth.

In these sports you are at an increased risk of being hit in the face and/or falling onto a hard surface.

Such impact can cause chipped, fractured or broken teeth. In some cases teeth can be loosened, or even knocked out all together.

Damage like this can be costly to put right.

So how can you enjoy these sports and protect your teeth?

Wear a mouth guard.

A mouth guard is an arch-shaped piece of plastic or thermoplastic that slips into your mouth and covers your upper teeth and gums. 

There are three different types of mouth guard you can buy.

  1. Stock mouth guard

This is the cheapest of the three options and is available to buy over the counter. However, most dentists don’t recommend it as it offers minimal protection.

Although they come in different sizes, the guards cannot be customised to fit your mouth precisely. They can also rub against your gums, causing soreness and discomfort.

  1. Mouth-formed mouth guard

These are also known as ‘boil and bite’ mouth guards and can be bought over the counter.

They are made from thermoplastic, which softens when soaked in hot water. Biting and sucking on the guard, in its softened state, moulds the plastic to the shape of your mouth.

While these guards offer a better fit, they can feel bulky and you may find yourself clenching your jaw to hold it in place.

  1. Custom-made mouth guard

A custom-made mouth guard offers you the best comfort and the most protection. It is made to your exact specifications following a consultation with your dentist.

To create your custom guard, your dentist will ask you about the sports you want to do and take accurate impressions of your upper and lower teeth.

The resulting guard will be an appropriate strength for your sports and will fit your mouth perfectly. 

Do you need a custom mouth guard?

If you are playing a sport that could cause damage to your teeth and would like to find out more about having a custom-made mouth guard, Dr Saigal will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

If you would like to go ahead and book a consultation, please call the practice on 0116 270 7300.