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When it comes to sports like football, hockey or lacrosse, most people would agree that a mouthguard should be a standard piece of equipment. Those sports are known for being contact sports, and blows and impacts to the head are common. But the truth is, a person who plays any sport or form of recreation that has a chance of an impact to the face should wear a mouthguard. This is especially true if a person wears braces.

There are three kinds of mouthguards: stock, boil-and-bite, and custom. Stock mouthguards can be purchased in most retail outlets. You simply place the mouthguard in your mouth. It is better than no protection, but stock mouthguards offer the least amount of protection. Boil-and-bite are also purchased in retail stores. You place them in boiling water, and when they have cooled, you bite down on them so that they will conform to the shape of your teeth. Custom mouthguards, which are made from an impression of your bite will give you the best protection for your teeth. Your dentist will take the impression of your bite and send it to a dental lab.

You should brush and rinse your teeth and your mouthguard before and after you use it. This will prevent the transmission of any bacteria between the mouthguard and your mouth. You should place your mouthguard in a clean, vented container where the air can dry it when it is not in use. Don’t chew on your mouthguard, since that will create cracks and holes for bacteria to breed. If your mouthguard becomes worn or damaged, it should be replaced, and it is a good idea to purchase a new mouthguard at the start of a new sports season.

If you, or your child is involved in athletics, you should consider seeing Dr. Kenneth Lewis about having a custom mouthguard crafted for you. If you live in the Fayetteville, North Carolina, area, and would like to make an appointment at Lewis Family Dentistry, call (910) 488.0518 today.