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Losing teeth is not a natural part of playing a contact sport. Luckily, mouthguards are an easy and cheap way to protect your mouth from harm. In many sports, they are must-have piece of equipment.
Injuries in sports are common, especially in contact sports. A mouthguard should always make the list when you are buying your sports equipment. Not wearing one can nearly double your risk of oral injury.
The American Dental Association recommends athletes of all ages use a mouthguard for activities with some degree of injury risk. They help prevent broken teeth and lower the risk of injuries to the lips, tongue, face, and jaw. They should be worn during these activities:
Mouthguards should be used for any sport with a risk of facial injury, not just the ones listed above.
When shopping, you should look for a mouthguard that is:
There are different types of mouthguards, so choose carefully. You may also want to talk to your dentist about which one may be best for your needs.
Here are some types that you may find:
Before you decide on the one you want to buy, there are a few more things to think about:
Caring for your mouthguard is easy and only takes a few minutes:
Be sure to see your dentist twice a year. Bring the mouthguard with you to your appointments. Your dentist can make sure it is working as it should.
No matter your age or sport, make sure you take some time to buy and care for a mouthguard. They are an easy way to protect your mouth from damage.
American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
Mouth Healthy—The American Dental Association
Canadian Dental Association
Dental Hygiene Canada
Choosing the mouth guard that's right for your sport or recreational activities. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aaoms.org/images/uploads/pdfs/guide_to_mouthguards.pdf. Accessed June 30, 2021.
Mouthguards. American Dental Association Mouth Healthy website. Available at: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/m/mouthguards. Accessed June 30, 2021.
Mouthguards. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/mouthguards. Accessed June 30, 2021.
Last reviewed June 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Last Updated: 6/30/2021