Sports guards are a specific type of mouth guard meant to protect athletes from oral injuries. The device is worn over the teeth, protecting them from blows to the face and head. They can be overlooked while other protective equipment, like helmets and shin guards, are seen as more essential, but mouth guards are very important and should be a regular part of an athlete’s gear. They are highly recommended for those participating in contact sports such as boxing, football, hockey, or baseball. Athletes participating in non-contact sports such as gymnastics can also benefit from the protection provided by sports guards.
Mouthguards generally cover only the upper teeth. They are designed to prevent broken teeth, cut lips, and other damage to the mouth. Individuals who wear braces or have other fixed dental appliances (such as a dental bridge) on their lower jaw may need a mouth protector for the lower teeth as well.
There are three types of sports guards available.
A good sports guard should be resilient, tear-resistant, and comfortable. It should not restrict speech or breathing; if this is the case, there is not a proper fit. Because sports guards wear down over time, which makes them less effective, it’s necessary to replace them after each season.