Mouth Guards for Athletes: Advanced Sports Dentistry By Tim Kelly, DMD, PA on June 09, 2015

A blue mouth guardDr. Tim Kelly is pleased to offer some of the finest dental care services in the Albuquerque area. This includes state-of-the-art restorative dentistry procedures to improve dental health and even preventative care and patient education.

One great option for preventative dental care is a mouth guard. It's especially key for athletes, as you are about to read.

What is a mouth guard?

A mouth guard is a protective retainer/mouthpiece that is worn in order to help prevent injury to the teeth, gums, and tongue. A mouth guard is a common part of the treatment for teeth grinding (bruxism) and TMJ disorders. Yet one of the best uses of mouth guards is sports dentistry and helping prevent mouth injuries in athletes.

Why Mouth Guards Are a Great Idea for Athletes

When athletes are in a heated competition, it's possible to be struck hard, to take a bad fall, or to experience an unexpected mishap of some kind that could lead to a serious injury. Mouth guards are just one way to prevent major damage to the structures of the mouth and ensure athletes are as well-protected as possible no matter what they may be facing.

Protection During Contact Sports and Combat Sports

If you're an athlete who plays contact sports or participates in combat sports, a mouth guard is crucial for you. Wearing a mouth guard is often required during competition since officials realize the risks that are out there.

Mouth guards are common for people involved in the following sports:

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rugby
  • Boxing
  • Wrestling
  • Mixed martial arts (MMA)

Mouth Guards Are Also Helpful in Non-Contact Sports

Even if you're in a sport that doesn't involve necessary physical contact, a mouth guard may be worth considering. In the heat of competition, it's possible for things to get more physical than intended. A mouth guard is just a bit more protection to consider on the court or the field, and a safe bet to take if you know things will get fierce, aggressive, or heated.

Consider mouth guards if you play basketball, soccer, or other kinds of high-energy and potentially physical sports.

Types of Athletic Mouth Guards

When it comes to athletic mouth guards, there are generally three kinds that are available:

  • Stock Mouth Guards – Stock mouth guards are mouth guards that are ready to wear when bought. These are not made to fit a person's mouth, so there might be issues with comfort and fit.

  • Semi-Custom Mouth Guards – Semi-custom mouth guards are mouth guards that conform to a person's mouth to a small degree. In these cases, the mouth guards are a little bit malleable after they have been heated, and harden into a given shape as they cool down.

  • Fully Customized Mouth Guards – Fully customized mouth guards are mouthpieces that are molded and fit specifically to an athlete's mouth. This offers the highest degree of comfort when they are worn.

Custom mouth guards tend to be best for athletes at various levels of competition given the level of protection and comfort they provide. Getting a customized mouth guard created can be discussed with your dentist during a visit.

Schedule a Consultation for Athletic Mouth Guards

For more information about athletic mouth guards and how they can help you protect your teeth and gums from harm, it's important that you contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Kelly and the entire team at the practice looks forward to your visit and helping you keep the edge in your game.

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Dr. Timothy M. Kelly

Timothy M. Kelly, DMD, PA

Timothy M. Kelly, DMD, PA, has been in practice in Albuquerque, NM, since 1981. He provides a wide range of cosmetic, restorative, and general dental services, with a special emphasis on the treatment of TMJ disorder. Some of our most popular services include:

To request an appointment with Dr. Kelly, please fill out our online form or call (505) 256-1770.

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"We believe that every patient has infinite worth and should be treated with dignity and respect. We are dedicated to educating, creating awareness, and empowering people to make treatment choices that are consistent with their own beliefs, needs and desires." Dr. Tim Kelly

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