Mouth Guards

Because accidents can happen during any physical activity, the advantage of using a mouth guard is that it can help limit the risk of injuries to your lips, tongue, and soft tissues of your mouth. Mouth guards also help you avoid chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth or even tooth loss.

Who Needs a Mouth Guard?

Mouth guards should be used by anyone — both children and adults — who play contact sports such as football, boxing, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey.
Those participating in non-contact sports such as gymnastics, cycling or skateboarding may also benefit from wearing a protective mouth guard to avoid a mouth injury in the case of an accident.

Adults and children who grind their teeth at night should have a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint made to prevent tooth damage.

Can I Wear a Mouth Guard if I Wear Braces?

Yes. Since an injury to the face could damage orthodontic brackets or other fixed appliances, a properly fitted mouth guard may be particularly important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. Your dentist or orthodontist can determine the mouth guard that will provide the best protection for your unique mouth work. An important reminder: do not wear any retainers or other removable appliance during any contact sports or during any recreational activities that put your mouth at risk for injury.

Caring for your Mouth Guard

  • Rinse your mouth guard with cold water or with a mouth rinse before and after each use and/or clean it with toothpaste and a toothbrush.
  • Occasionally clean the mouth guard in cool, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly.
  • Place the mouth guard in a firm, perforated container to store or transport it. This permits air circulation and helps to prevent damage.
  • Protect the mouth guard from high temperatures such as hot water, hot surfaces, or direct sunlight to minimize distorting its shape.
  • Occasionally check the mouth guard for general wear. If you find holes or tears in it or if it becomes loose or causes discomfort, replace it.
  • Bring the mouth guard to each regularly scheduled dental visit to have your dentist exam it.