What are sports mouth guards?
These are appliances worn while playing contact sports, and
they ensure safety of the teeth by providing a cushioning
Why do I need a mouth protector?
Anyone who participates in a sport that carries a significant
risk of injury should wear a mouth protector. This includes
a wide range of sports like football, hockey, basketball,
baseball, gymnastics, and volleyball.
Mouth protectors, which typically cover the upper teeth,
can cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken
teeth and injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth. If you
wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower
jaw, you may require a mouth protector for these teeth as
What sporting activities require the protection
of a mouth guard?
There are a number of sports where it should be painfully
obvious to the participant that a mouth protector should be
worn. Clearly boxing would be such a case, but there are other
examples as well in which a sports injury that could have
been prevented with a mouth guard. Therefore, athletes participating
in contact sports (sports where player to player contact is
a regular and expected part of the sporting event) should
protect their mouth with a guard. Football, boxing, ice hockey,
lacrosse, field hockey, roller hockey, soccer, rugby, basketball,
martial arts, water polo, and wrestling should all be considered
sports where the use of a mouth protector is paramount.
What are some of the specific types of benefits
that a sports mouth guard can be expected to provide?
1) Sports mouth guards can help prevent tooth fracture, tooth
dislocation, and bone (jaw) fracture.
2) Sports guards can help to prevent bruising or laceration
of the soft tissues of the mouth.
3) Wearing a mouth guard may help to protect an athlete from
4) Sports mouth protectors can provide a psychological benefit
for an athlete.
What are the advantages of using a mouth protector?
Accidents can happen during any physical activity. A mouth
protector can help cushion a blow to the face that otherwise
might result in an injury to the mouth. A misdirected elbow
in a one-on-one basketball game or a spill off a bicycle can
leave you with chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a
tooth or even tooth loss. A mouth protector can limit the
risk of such injuries as well as protect the soft tissues
of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.
A properly fitted mouth protector will stay in place while
you are wearing it, making it easy for you to talk and breathe.
I wear braces. Can I use a mouth protector?
A properly fitted mouth protector may be especially important
for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. A blow
to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic
appliances. A mouth protector also provides a barrier between
the braces and your cheek or lips, limiting the risk of soft
Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about selecting a mouth
protector that will provide the best protection. Although
mouth protectors typically only cover the upper teeth, your
dentist or orthodontist may suggest that you use a mouth protector
on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth too.
If you have a retainer or other removable appliance, do
not wear it during any contact sports.