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Do I need a mouth guard?
For those who play sports, mouth guards are often recommended. A mouth guard can be beneficial while playing any sport but are especially important for contact sports like football, boxing, and hockey. A mouth guard can help protect the teeth, jaws, and soft tissues from injury during sport.

How does it work?
Mouth guards are designed to absorb the force of impacts to the mouth area. This blocks the force from reaching the teeth. Mouth guards are formed from resilient, yet forgiving plastic. They usually cover the upper teeth, but are designed in such a way to protect the mouth, gums, and jaw as well.

What types of mouth guards are available?
The three main types of mouth guards are:

– Stock mouth guards
– Boil-and-bite mouth guards
– Custom-made mouth guards

The first two types can be found in sporting goods stores. However, custom-made mouth guards, which offer the most protection, must be obtained from your dentist or orthodontist.

How do I take care of my mouth guard?
Dr. Neal Smith and our team stress the importance of cleaning your mouth guard. After use, gently brush your mouth guard with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Be sure to store your mouth guard in its protective case. To keep your mouth guard from melting or losing its proper shape, keep it out of the sun or hot water.

When should I replace my mouth guard?
When your mouth guard begins to show signs of wear or roughness, it is time to replace it. A mouth guard that no longer fits properly also needs to be replaced.

If you would like more information about wearing a mouth guard in Yakima, Washington, and to set up your next appointment at Central Washington Pediatric Dentistry, call 509-248-2973 today.