why use a mouthguard

why use a mouthguard

Why Use a Mouthguard

A mouthguard is a protective device worn over the teeth and gums to prevent injuries to the mouth, teeth, and jaws. It is commonly used in contact sports such as football, hockey, and boxing, but can also be used in non-contact sports such as gymnastics and skateboarding. Here are some of the reasons why using a mouthguard is important:

Prevent Dental Injuries

Sports-related dental injuries are common and can be very painful and expensive to treat. A mouthguard can prevent chipped, broken, or knocked-out teeth, as well as cuts and bruises to the lips, tongue, and cheeks. It can also protect against jaw fractures and dislocations.

According to the American Dental Association, athletes who do not wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to suffer dental injuries than those who do.

Protect Against Concussions

A mouthguard can also help reduce the risk of concussions. When an athlete receives a blow to the head, the force can be transmitted to the jaw and then to the brain. A mouthguard can act as a shock absorber, reducing the impact and lowering the risk of concussion.

While a mouthguard cannot completely prevent concussions, it can help reduce their severity and frequency.

Improve Breathing and Performance

A properly fitted mouthguard can improve an athlete’s breathing and performance. By keeping the jaw in a slightly forward position, it can open up the airways and allow for better oxygen flow. This can help reduce fatigue and improve endurance.

In addition, a mouthguard can help an athlete maintain proper jaw alignment, which can improve balance, coordination, and overall performance.

Reduce Bruxism and TMJ Disorders

Bruxism is the involuntary grinding of teeth, usually during sleep. It can cause headaches, jaw pain, and tooth damage. A mouthguard can help reduce the effects of bruxism by providing a cushion between the upper and lower teeth.

TMJ disorders are conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw to the skull. Symptoms include jaw pain, clicking or popping sounds, and difficulty chewing. A mouthguard can help reduce the symptoms of TMJ disorders by providing support and cushioning to the jaw.

Custom-Fit vs. Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards

There are two types of mouthguards: custom-fit and boil-and-bite. Custom-fit mouthguards are made by a dentist or orthodontist and are designed to fit the athlete’s teeth and gums perfectly. They are more expensive than boil-and-bite mouthguards, but provide better protection and are more comfortable to wear.

Boil-and-bite mouthguards are available at sporting goods stores and can be molded to fit the athlete’s teeth by boiling them in water and then biting down on them. While they are less expensive than custom-fit mouthguards, they may not provide as much protection and may be less comfortable to wear.

Caring for Your Mouthguard

It is important to take care of your mouthguard to ensure that it provides maximum protection and lasts as long as possible. Here are some tips for caring for your mouthguard:

  • Store your mouthguard in a clean, dry container when not in use.
  • Rinse your mouthguard with water before and after each use.
  • Clean your mouthguard with a toothbrush and toothpaste or soap and water.
  • Avoid exposing your mouthguard to high temperatures, such as leaving it in a hot car.

why use a mouthguard


Using a mouthguard is an important part of protecting your teeth, gums, and jaws during sports and other physical activities. It can help prevent dental injuries, reduce the risk of concussions, improve breathing and performance, and reduce the effects of bruxism and TMJ disorders. Whether you choose a custom-fit or boil-and-bite mouthguard, be sure to take care of it to ensure that it provides maximum protection and lasts as long as possible.

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