Sports guards are a form of mouthguard that is used during contact sports such as hockey, lacrosse and basketball. Any time there is a chance of trauma from an object or another person, a sports guard is recommended. There are two main types of sports guards, which are professionally made and store-bought. Both types have their pros and cons.
Professionally Made Sports Guards
Professionally made sports guards are the gold standard for sports guards because they fit precisely to your mouth and teeth and offer you the best protection. This type of sports guard is made by taking an impression of your teeth and sending the impression to a dental lab to be made. The sportsguard will be fabricated out of acrylic. Because professionally made sports guards offer the best protection and are custom made, they are more expensive than store-bought mouth guards. Sometimes the cost of the sports guard may be covered by your insurance provider.
Store Bought Sports Guards
Store-bought sports guards are only recommended in a couple of situations because they don’t do as good of a job preventing injury and trauma. Store-bought guards will be recommended for children whose mouths and teeth are constantly changing, as well as for someone going through orthodontic work, for the same reason. Store-bought guards are usually boil and bite, which means they need to be heated up and moulded to your teeth.
How to Care for Your Sports Guard
- Make sure to clean your sports guard between use with a separate toothbrush and store it in a sports guard case
- Never use hot water on your sports guard as this may change the shape
- Never remove your sports guard with your tongue or chew on it
- If your sports guard is loose or has cracks and chips in it, bring it into your dentist to take a look at it, it may be time for a new guard