A mouth guard is a device you can wear in your mouth to protect your teeth when you play sports. A mouth guard can also act as a shock absorber if your head is hit. Some studies have shown that mouth guards may lower the risk of concussion.
You can buy mouth guards at sporting goods stores.
Are there different types of mouth guards?
The most common type of mouth guard fits around the top teeth. The bottom teeth are protected when the mouth guard overlaps them. Some mouth guards fit over both top and bottom teeth.
Mouth guards come in several sizes. Many mouth guards can be custom fitted. For example, some can be fitted for your mouth by boiling them and then biting into them. Others are fitted by pouring a gel into the guard and then biting into the gel. A mouth guard may also be custom made by your dentist.
When should I wear a mouth guard?
You should always wear a mouth guard when you play in contact sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey, and rugby. Mouth guards are also recommended for other sports such as basketball.
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Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2013-08-06 Last reviewed: 2013-07-19
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Mouth Guards: References
Brotzman SB, and RC Manske. Clinical Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, An Evidence-Based Approach, Third Edition. Elsevier, 2011.
Busconi, BD, and Stevenson, JH, Sports Medicine Consult, Lippincott 2009.
Oâ€™Connor, F., et al. ACSMâ€™s Sports Medicine: A Comprehensive Review. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2012.
Sarwark, John. Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care, 4th ed., American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2010.