Sports: all fun and games until someone knocks out a tooth
The use of a mouth guard is recommended to protect the teeth, lips and cheeks from injury. While mouth guards are commonly worn in contact sports, such as football and boxing, the American Dental Association (ADA) says that any athlete can end up with a mouth injury, including in sports like gymnastics or skating.
There are three basic types of mouth guards.
- Custom-made: most expensive, made by the dentist to fit your teeth, best for teenagers who have no baby teeth and have all their permanent teeth (excluding third molars) erupted.
- Boil and bite: available at sporting good and drug stores, made to fit at home by following instructions, soften in hot water and then bite to form around your teeth, less expensive than custom-made but fit not quite as good
- Stock: least expensive, pre-formed so do not fit well, can make it hard to speak and breathe
Any mouth guard is better than none!