Protecting your smile while playing contact sports is essential when you have braces. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums from injury and are recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries incurred by athletes. Our goal is to help minimize your chances of a sports-related injury. Be sure to ask Dr. Ballou or any other staff members about any questions you have regarding mouthguards at your next appointment!

Types of Mouthguards

Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. There are three basic types of mouthguards: the stock/pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and a custom-made mouthguard. When you chose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable and well fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and does not prevent you from breathing properly.

Stock mouthguards are given to the patients at our office, boil-and-bite mouthguards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores and custom-made mouthguards are specially designed by Dr. Ballou to provide optimal protection against mouth injuries. Dr. Ballou can show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect your smile.

Taking Care of Your Mouthguard

It is important to take care of your mouthguard by storing it properly and keeping it clean, as well as knowing when to replace your old mouthguard with a new one. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mouthguard clean and working correctly:

• Gently scrub your mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
• Store your mouthguard in a protective case.
• Do not leave your mouthguard in the sun or in hot water, because it may melt or become deformed.
• Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season. You should also replace your mouthguard if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
• Do not wear a retainer with your mouthguard. If you wear braces, your Dr. Ballou will give you a mouthguard to protect your teeth while you are in braces.