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Protect Your Smile With A Mouthguard

SeahawkRichardShermanSeahawk cornerback Richard Sherman wears a mouthguard, and it doesn't slow him down a bit. ©Mark SamiaThink about it. Broken bones and pulled muscles heal, but you can’t re-grow missing or damaged teeth. Wearing a mouthguard can be the difference between a healthy smile and a lifetime of dental problems. Keep reading to learn more about mouth guards.

Plus, what to do if your tooth is accidentally knocked out. 

Summer is the perfect time to get outside and get active. If you hit the field, be sure to protect your smile with a mouth guard. Mouthguards are an essential piece of sports equipment and should be worn in any sport where there’s a risk of face and mouth injuries. This includes soccer, skateboarding, bicycling, and surfing.

Mouthguards limit the risk for chipped, broken, or lost teeth. They protect your lips and cheeks from cuts and bruises—especially if you have braces. They also reduce the risk of jaw fractures and concussions. That’s why they’re worn by the pros. Watch any match, game or sporting event and you’ll notice athletes including snow boarder Shaun White, Seahawk Richard Sherman, hoop star LeBron James, and field hockey standout Melissa Gonzalez wearing them.

Mouthguard-Mania200Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Mouthguards (poster) You can get a mouthguard in any color or with any graphic. They even come in a variety of flavors! There’s truly a mouthguard for every smile. The key is finding the right one for yours.

Here are some tips to help you find the perfect fit:

• Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about the best choice for you

• A good mouthguard stays in place and doesn’t interfere with speech or breathing

• There are three types:

  • Stock. These guards are ready-to-wear, but they are often bulky, uncomfortable and make it hard to breathe or talk.
  • Boil and bite. These are more comfortable than stock mouthguards. Follow the instructions on the package to mold them to your mouth and teeth.
  • Custom-fitted. They’re the most comfortable because they’re custom made by your dentist to fit your mouth perfectly. However, they’re not typically covered by insurance and are more expensive.

Once you’ve found the right mouthguard, be sure to keep it clean and store it in a well-vented container. They wear out just like any other sports equipment. Replace them as needed.

While it’s important to always wear a mouthguard, we know accidents happen. Check out this article for tips on what to do if a tooth is accidentally knocked out. Wearing a mouth guard can be the difference between a healthy smile or a lifetime of dental problems.

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Guest Tuesday, 30 September 2014