Do you play contact sports? If so, you should wear a sports mouth guard to protect your teeth and gums from injury. For example, a football mouth guard protects your teeth from being chipped or broken the next time you’re tackled on the field.
We recommend wearing your sports mouth guard for every practice and every game. That way, you can protect your smile and lower your risk of experiencing a dental emergency.
Still, mouth guards lose their effectiveness over time. You’ll need to get a new sports mouth guard every so often to adequately protect your smile.
Here are five signs that it may be time to replace your sports mouth guard so you can continue to play safely.
1. Your Mouth Guard Is Thin or Deformed
Don’t chew your mouth guard. This bad habit can fray or deform your sports mouth guard so it wears out prematurely.
You also shouldn’t wedge your mouth guard into your face mask. Otherwise, you’ll bend it out of shape.
A deformed mouth guard cannot properly protect your teeth from impact or injury. By taking good care of your sports mouth guard, you’ll save money in the long run by not having to replace it as often.
2. Your Bite Has Changed
If recent dental procedures changed your bite, see our dentist for a new mouth guard. Likewise, you should also replace your mouth guard if you’ve recently experienced tooth loss.
To protect your teeth, your mouth guard needs to fit just right and cover the entire outer surface of your teeth. A changed bite or a lost tooth can alter the fit, making it too tight or too loose.
3. Your Mouth Is Still Growing
Children’s mouth guards should be replaced every six months or at the end of their sports season. Since children’s mouths are still growing, it’s important that they have a that fits properly over their teeth. The last thing you want is for your child’s mouth guard to restrain their growing jaws and smile.
4. You’re Undergoing Orthodontic Treatment
If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment for a straighter, healthier smile, speak with our dentist about getting . This unique mouth guard covers both the upper and lower teeth so you don’t have to worry about damaging wires and brackets. It also prevents braces from snagging on your soft tissue upon impact.
5. Your Sports Season Is Over
Even if you haven’t experienced any of the previous signs listed here, we still recommend replacing your mouth guard every six months or once your season ends.
Research shows that mouth guards become less effective when they lose their thickness. This is because there is less protective material to absorb external impact and protect your teeth from injury.
You will also want to replace your mouth guard once the warranty runs out. This is because it is no longer guaranteed to protect your teeth from sports injury.
The end of your season is the perfect time to evaluate your mouth guard and determine if now is the right time to invest in a new one.
Protect Your Teeth With a New Sports Mouth Guard
Our Grand Rapids, MI, sports dentist can create the best mouth guard for your smile and the sport you play. Call Precision Family Dental today at (616) 207-1280, or contact us online to request an appointment.
This blog post has been updated.