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Do You Really Need a Mouthguard?

You already know that the key to keeping your family’s teeth and gums healthy is to practice good oral hygiene, eat a healthy diet, and go to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. But even the best oral hygiene and dental care routine can’t protect your teeth from the impact of a collision during a football game or wrestling match or from the impact of a stray baseball or hockey puck.

Depending on your sport or physical activity, a mouthguard is just as important as a helmet or other piece of protective equipment. At Haider Family Dentistry in Salem, Oregon, Dr. Jeremy Haider and our team of dental professionals provide custom mouthguards. Here’s why you need one.

When do you need a mouthguard?

Mouthguards provide an extra layer of protection for your teeth during contact sports and physical activities that increase your risk of impact with a projectile or another person.

From chips and cracks to knocked out teeth or soft tissue lacerations, mouthguards protect your smile and lower your risk of painful dental injuries. Mouthguards also save you time and money that you’d have to spend fixing your teeth after a sports injury.

The list of activities that can lead to dental injuries is longer than many people realize. The American Dental Association recommends that children and adults wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth and gums from injury while participating in many sports and recreational activities, including:

  • Wrestling
  • Basketball
  • Baseball and softball
  • Rugby and football
  • Hockey
  • Handball, racquetball, and squash
  • Gymnastics and acrobatics
  • Skiing
  • Boxing
  • Martial arts
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Surfing
  • Volleyball
  • Skateboarding
  • Weightlifting

As you can see, you don’t have to be a professional athlete or even participate in a competitive sport to benefit from a mouthguard.

Custom mouthguards vs. over-the-counter

At Haider Family Dentistry, we offer custom made mouthguards to ensure a perfect fit and adequate protection for your teeth. Generic, over-the-counter guards you can purchase at your drugstore may slip or fit improperly, causing discomfort, and they may not do an adequate job of protecting your mouth.

At your appointment, Dr. Haider can discuss your options with you and make a recommendation based on your oral health needs and your lifestyle.

What’s the difference between a nightguard and mouthguard?

A nightguard is a mouthguard, too, but it’s worn while you sleep to protect your teeth and jaw from grinding and clenching. If you’ve been diagnosed or are showing signs of bruxism — teeth grinding — or temporomandibular disorders — affecting your jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints (TMJ), and associated nerves — Dr. Haider may recommend that you wear a nightguard.

For more information about custom mouthguards and other dentistry services available at Haider Family Dentistry, contact us by phone to schedule a visit, or request an appointment using our online booking tool.

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