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Sports mouthguards help prevent oral injuries. There are three basic types. Stock fit that you can buy in most sporting goods stores. The fit can’t be modified. These tend to be bulky. Boil-and-bite mouthguards, also available in pharmacies and sporting goods stores, can be placed in boiling water for a short period, and then molded somewhat to fit an individual mouth. Custom fit mouthguards are made at the dentist office and are fit specifically for the individual. These are thinner and more comfortable to wear, but more expensive. Whatever type you choose, it’s important to take care of them and keep them clean. The American Dental Association offered this advice:
Rinse or brush your teeth before and after wearing a mouthguard.
Store the guard in a container that has air vents.
Clean your mouthguard before you store it.
Don’t chew on or cut pieces off of your guard.
Bring your mouthguard when you have a dental checkup.
Check for wear and tear, and replace your mouthguard when necessary.
All three types of mouthguards will provide protection, but remember, the best mouthguard is the one that you will wear regularly.
By following these tips, your mouth will remain healthy and protected.
“Protecting Teeth with Mouthguards.” Journal of the American Dental Association. December 2006, vol. 137, p. 1772. www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Science%20and%20Research/Files/patient_69.ashx Accessed 2016.
“Mouthguards.” American Dental Association. www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/m/mouthguards Accessed 2016.
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