When Should I Replace My Sports Mouth Guard? Dentist Wyoming, MI

A general rule of thumb is to replace your sports mouthguard every year, but there are many other reasons and times when you should too. 

If you play a contact sport, your dentist will probably recommend wearing a sports mouth guard to prevent injury. For example, a football mouth guard reduces your risk of getting a chipped tooth or needing 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 sports mouth guard. For more information, call our office to schedule an appointment with us. 

Change Your Mouth Guard When Your Sporting Season Ends 

Not just football players use sporting mouth guards, did you know that? Here are a few quick examples of mouthguards for other activities: 

  • Baseball Teeth Guards
  • Basketball Teeth Guards
  • Rollerblading/Skateboarding Teeth Guards
  • Hockey Mouth Guards
  • Wrestling Mouth Guards
  • Mouth Guards for Ice-skating 

And the list could go on and on. Whatever your activity is, be mindful of getting a new custom mouth guard after your season ends. 

Over time, your mouth guard will get thinner until it’s no longer able to protect your teeth the way it did when new. 

You need enough protective material to absorb impacts. Otherwise, you risk needing emergency dental care the next time you play. 

Even if you or your child doesn’t play a contact sport, a dentist may still recommend a mouth guard if there’s a risk of injury. A great example is if they’ll be out ice skating for the first time. 

If you or your child plays multiple sports, we may ask you to wait until your routine checkup before making the custom mouth guard.

Do Not Wear Your Mouth Guard If It Is Damaged 

No matter the type of mouth guard, sport or for sleep, if it is damaged do not use it to protect your teeth. There is a high chance it could cause an injury from snapping in your mouth. Rather, use a temporary teeth cover from the store until you see your dentist and get a replacement mouth guard. 

Do not chew your sports mouth guard either. This is one of the leading causes of mouth guard failure! Over time, the bad habit of chewing on your mouth guard will damage it until it frays or deforms. 

Another bad habit we see athletes doing is wedging their football mouth guards 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 multiple times during a single season. 

Change Your Mouth Guard If Your Bite Has Changed

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 your teeth contours for ultimate protection. Call our office if your bite changed recently, especially if the mouth guard feels too tight or loose.

Change Your Mouth Guard If Your Jaw Has Grown 

If your child is still growing, they’ll need a new custom mouth guardevery 6 months. The last thing you want is for their sports mouth guard to hold back their jaw while it’s trying to grow. 

During most orthodontic treatments, 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.

Our dentist recommends parents bring their children to our dental office every 6 months for a routine oral health check-up anyway, so while you’re here we’ll make sure to get those new sports mouth guards squared away. 

A Sports Mouth Guard Is Not A Custom Night Guard For Your Mouth 

Sports Guards for your mouth are different than mouth night guards. Night mouth guards are for preventing teeth grinding, while sports guards are for preventing impact damage. 

For more information on night guards and how they help prevent what’s called bruxism, check out our article on How do Night Guards Stop Teeth Grinding >> 

In Need of a Sports Mouth Guard?

We can help you find the best mouth guard for your smile and the sport you play. To schedule your visit with your Wyoming, MI dentist, call River Ridge Dentistry at (616) 538-7320 or request an appointment with us online.