If you play a contact sport, our dentists will recommend wearing a sports mouth guard to prevent injury. Custom mouth guards offer a superior level of protection to those sold in sporting goods stores. It’s important to wear and maintain yourfor maximum protection.
Here are the times our sports dentists in Grand Rapids recommend replacing your mouth guard with a new one.
1. The Season Has Ended
Has the season ended? If so, it’s time to get fitted for a new custom mouth guard. Over time, your mouth guard will get thinner until it’s no longer able to protect your teeth the way it did when new.
Many studies have shown that mouth guards lose their effectiveness once this happens. You need enough protective material to absorb impact. Otherwise, you risk needing emergency dental care the next time you play.
2. You Notice Damage
Don’t chew your sports mouth guard. Over time, this bad habit will damage the sports mouth guard until it’s frayed or deformed. Another bad habit we see athletes doing is wedging their into face masks.
When you do this, the mouth guard loses its shape and effectiveness. You’ll be able to save money in the long run if you don’t have to replace mouth guards as frequently.
3. Your Bite Has Changed
Whether you’re in the middle of orthodontic treatment or recently had a tooth extracted, you’ll need a new mouth guard as soon as your bite changes.
The whole point of a custom mouth guard is that it’s shaped perfectly to the contours of your teeth for the ultimate protection. Call our family dentists if your bite changed recently, especially if the mouth guard feels too tight or loose.
4. Your Jaw Has Grown
If your child is still growing, they’ll need a new custom mouth guard every 6 months. The last thing you want is for their sports mouth guard to hold back their jaw while it’s trying to grow. Our dentists recommend parents take their children to our office every 6 months for a new sports mouth guard. You’ll also need a new mouth guard at the end of the sports season.
During orthodontic treatment, the jaw is often encouraged to grow to eliminate an underbite or overbite. If this is the case for you or your child, you’ll need a new mouth guard to accommodate the new bite.
Even if your child doesn’t play a contact sport, our dentists may still recommend a mouth guard if there’s risk of dental injury. For example, ice skating carries a risk of injury despite not being a contact sport. If you or your child plays multiple sports, we may ask you to wait until your routine checkup before making the custom mouth guard.
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This blog post has been updated.