Do you play a contact sport? If so, your dentist will recommend wearing a sports mouth guard to prevent injury. For example, a football mouth guard reduces your risk of needing chipped tooth repair the next time you’re tackled on the field. While a custom mouth guard offers a superior level of protection to those sold in sporting goods stores, they aren’t invincible. When your mouth guard wears out, you’ll need to replace it with a new one.
Continue reading to learn when you should replace your. For more information, call our office or schedule your appointment with our dentist.
Reasons to Replace a Sports Mouth Guard
Has the season ended? If so, it’s time to get fitted for a new custom mouth guard. Over time, your mouth guard will get thinner until it’s no longer able to protect your teeth the way it did when new. Many studies have shown that mouth guards lose their effectiveness once this happens. You need enough protective material to absorb impact. Otherwise, you risk needing emergency dental care the next time you play.
Mouth Guard is Damaged
Don’t chew your sports mouth guard. Over time, this bad habit will damage the sports mouth guard until it’s frayed or deformed. Another bad habit we see athletes doing is wedging their into face masks. When you do this, the mouth guard loses its shape and effectiveness. You’ll be able to save money in the long run if you don’t have to replace mouth guards as frequently.
Whether you’re in the middle of orthodontic treatment or recently had a tooth extracted, you’ll need a new mouth guard as soon as your bite changes. The whole point of a custom mouth guard is that it’s shaped perfectly to the contours of your teeth for the ultimate protection. Call our office if your bite changed recently, especially if the mouth guard feels too tight or loose.
Jaw Has Grown
If your child is still growing, they’ll need a new custom mouth guard every 6 months. The last thing you want is for their sports mouth guard to hold back their jaw while it’s trying to grow. Our dentist recommends parents take their children to our office every 6 months for a new sports mouth guard. You’ll also need a new mouth guard at the end of the sports season.
During orthodontic treatment, the jaw is often encouraged to grow to eliminate an underbite or overbite. If this is the case for you or your child, you’ll need a new mouth guard to accommodate the new bite.
Even if your child doesn’t play a contact sport, their dentist may still recommend a mouth guard if there’s risk of injury. For example, ice skating carries a risk of injury despite not being a contact sport. If you or your child plays multiple sports, we may ask you to wait until your routine checkup before making the custom mouth guard.