How Should A Mouthguard Fit
A mouthguard is a protective appliance that helps prevent injury to your teeth, lips, and gums. These games include boxing, wrestling, MMA, soccer, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and polo. They are available in different forms based on their purpose of usage. Three common types include the generic ‘stock mouthguards’, ‘mouth adapted guards’, which are also called ‘boil and bite guards’ or ‘self-fit mouthguards’, and the ‘custom-made mouthguards’. The latter type is more expensive but fits much better, using heat activation or vacuum to be fitted in the mouth. Let’s briefly discuss how a mouthguard should fit.
It Covers Your Teeth and Gums
Mouth injuries can occur despite using a mouthguard. To ensure maximum protection, you need to get a well-fitted guard. You will know it’s a good fit if you don’t need to clench your jaw or bite down hard to keep your guard in place. Ideally, your mouthguard should fit snug against your upper teeth without shifting and without the need to adjust or clench your jaws. It should partially cover the upper gums under the lips but not extend too much over the palate.. Your mouthguard should safeguard your gums and teeth roots that can otherwise shift in the event of a contact injury.
Your teeth roots can be vulnerable if your guard is very short and doesn’t extend far enough under the lip. One that’s overextended under the lip can rub uncomfortably for the user. A well-fitted one will cover most of your teeth other than your very back molars and will end slightly over your gum line. It will not, however, overwhelm your entire upper jaw. An ideal mouthguard provides maximum security and comfort and will not expose your gums or teeth.
Comfortable To Wear
While a good mouthguard should protect your gums and teeth, it should not fully extend into your mouth as this could lead to gagging. It should fit securely within your mouth and avoid sitting on your soft palate, which is the fleshy bit at the back of your mouth’s roof. The ideal fit is when your guard ends between the end bit of your front molar and halfway through your second one. It is easy to determine if this is not the case as you will find it a task even to move your mouth.
Comfort and safety are paramount when you’re buying a mouthguard. It should not be sharp or bulky. If it causes mouth sores, it should be changed for a better fitted one. Many athletes struggle to find the right fitted mouthguard and often don’t wear it during matches or practice runs, leading to injuries occurring in the gaming field.
Lets You Breathe And Speak Without Issue
A sportsperson needs a lot of oxygen during high-intensity matches, and an ill-fitted mouthguard can hamper breathing, speaking, and drinking, thereby restricting their performance. Another important factor to consider in a competitive game like contact sports is that there should be ease of communication between players. A poorly fitted mouthguard can easily hamper this communication between teammates, affecting the results. You know your guard is an ideal fit when the guard’s material doesn’t restrict the free flow space within your mouth, which is the area that lies on the inside portion of your molars and behind the back portion of your front teeth.
When Should You Wear A Mouthguard?
Your teeth can lacerate the inside of your lips and cheeks during contact sports. A well-fitted mouthguard can provide the cushion against this happening. You can also bite down on your mouthguard to decrease jaw movement.
How To Take Care Of Your Mouthguard
- You should rinse, clean, and brush your mouthguard soon after you use it
- Let it air-dry on a dry and clean surface
- A weekly deep-clean of your mouthguard is essential for its long-life
- Store your mouthguard in its designated case when you’re not using it and clean the case once every few days
- Use washing soap and rinse well, but refrain from putting it in the dishwasher as the heat could destroy the plastic
It’s also essential to replace your mouthguard once it looks like it’s undergone too much wear and tear and is no longer comfortable. This recommendation from dentists is because normal wear and tear or biting down on your guard could weaken it, and this won’t be an ideal fit as a protective device anymore.
Our teeth can be dislodged with a tiny impact. Mouthguards protect your mouth, teeth, jaw, and gums. They are designed to cover a significant portion of your gums and upper teeth. Your lower teeth will also be safeguarded as a human’s upper set of teeth naturally fit over our lower teeth. There are various mouthguards available in the market today and of varying prices. A store purchased mouth guard may be ok in the short term but ideally, a custom mouth guard will be the most comfortable and provide your teeth and gums with the best protection. Finding the ideal fitted mouthpiece and wearing it can protect you during contact sports and prevent a severe dental injury which can have lifelong ramifications for the teeth.
Book your consultation today with our team of professionals to discuss which mouthguard is an ideal fit for your needs.