young boy holding a mouth gaurd

Who Needs to Wear a Mouthguard?

Who needs to wear a mouthguard? I used to think that only boxers wore mouth guards, but I was wrong! Let’s hear what Dr. Jergins has to say on the subject of mouth guards.

“The most obvious use for mouth guards is in sports, especially for children,” says Dr. Jergins of ClearWhite Dental. “Having said that, mouthguards are very important in contact sports such as football, hockey, and lacrosse. Though I think mouth guards should also be used in basketball and wrestling, as well. Mouthguards help protect the teeth and facial area from injury.”

In fact, Dr. Jergins’ own son forgot to wear his mouthguard to a basketball game, and sustained a mouth injury during the competition. Lesson learned!

And, an article in the New York Times talked about how NCAA athletes need to wear mouth guards, but don’t, while several high profile NBA players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Stephen Curry all use mouth guards.

Mouthguards, 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, according to the ADA. A properly fitted mouthguard will stay in place and be easy for users to talk and breathe while wearing.

Here are the 3 Types of Mouthguards:

1. Stock Mouthguards:

Pros: Inexpensive and ready to wear

Cons: They do not fit well, and can make it difficult to breathe and speak.

2. Boil and Bite Mouthguards:

Pros: Better fit than stock mouth guards.

Cons:  Still difficult to get a proper fit. It is also difficult to speak using a boil and bite mouthguard.

3. Custom Fitted Mouthguards:

Pros: Fits very well and allows user to breathe and speak easily. A better fit is less of a distraction to the athlete and can allow for better, more focused play. Also, less risk of the mouthguard falling out during play.

Cons:  Requires time for fitting.

Do I Have to Wear a Mouthguard?

Take this quiz on the American Dental Association site, Do I Have to Wear a Mouthguard?

You might also want to consider a mouthguard to wear at night while you’re sleeping if you clench your teeth or grind your teeth. Call us today to make an appointment to talk to Dr. Jergins.