Have you been told you need a mouth guard?
A mouth guard is a protective device for the mouth that covers the teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, arches, lips and gums. “An effective mouth guard is like a ‘crash helmet’ for teeth and jaws. It also prevents the jaws coming together fully, thereby reducing the risk of jaw joint injuries and concussion.” A mouth guard is most often used to prevent injury in contact sports, as a treatment for bruxism or TMD, or as part of certain dental procedures, such as tooth bleaching or sleep apnea treatment. Depending on application, it may also be called a mouth protector, mouth piece, gumshield, gumguard, nightguard, occlusal splint, bite splint, or bite plane.
For athletes wearing braces, a mouth guard also can protect the braces from breakage caused by impact and protect from lacerations that may occur as a result of an impact that causes the metal brackets to come into contact with soft tissue. The result can be painful and cause damage to the braces.
When determining what mouth guard is best for an athlete check to see if the package says safe for braces. There are so many different brands that help protect your braces, gums, jaw, and teeth, but regardless of the brand it is best not to get a form fitting guard. If you have any doubts or concerns contact your provider.