Mouth Guards Are A Smart Choice For Protecting Your Smile

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Protecting Mouth

Kids and parents alike should keep in mind that thousands of teens suffer tooth, lip, cheek and tongue injuries by blows to the face while engaging in spring sports and outdoor activities.

"A properly fitted mouth guard, or mouth protector, is an important piece of athletic gear that can protect your teeth and help you keep a beautiful smile," said Oral Health Services Director Suzanne Hayes, DDS. "Mouth guards are an essential piece of protection that goes along with pads, helmets, cleats and other sports accessories."

A mouth guard is not only useful for contact sports like football and wrestling, but also for non-contact sports like gymnastics, soccer and lacrosse. Most dental experts recommend that a mouth guard should be worn for any recreational activity that poses a risk of injury to the mouth.

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There are three types of mouth guards: ready-made, or stock, mouth guard; mouth-formed "boil and bite" mouth guard; and custom-made mouth guard created by a licensed dentist. All three guards provide protection, but vary in comfort and cost.

"A mouth guard should be durable, tear-resistant and comfortable. It should fit properly and be easy to clean, while not restricting your speech or breathing," Hayes said.

Mouth guard maintenance is as important as remembering to use one during activity. By caring for a mouth guard properly, comfort and protection are more reliable:

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