accessibility ACCESSIBILITY

Mouth Guards: Sport equipment that protects the smile

It is easy to take some things for granted until they are suddenly gone. Have you ever thought about it would feel if you lost one or two of your front teeth? You'd probably avoid smiling. It would be uncomfortable talking with someone face-to-face. It wouldn't be easy to pronounce certain words. And how about eating an apple? Until your teeth are gone, you might not miss them.

Each year, thousands of teen get hurt on the playing field, skateboarding, biking and during other activities. Blows to the face in nearly every sport can injure your teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue.

A properly fitted mouth guard is an important piece of athletic gear that can protect you teeth and smile.

The most effective mouth guard should have several features: It should be resilient, tear-resistant and comfortable. It should fit properly, be durable and easy to clean, and not restrict your speech or breathing.

Generally, a mouth guard covers only the upper teeth, but in some cases the dentist will instead make a mouth guard for the lower teeth. Your dentist will suggest the right mouth guard for you.

Here are some tip for taking good care of your mouth guard:

- Before and after each use, rinse it with cold water or with an antiseptic mouth rinse. You can clean it with a toothbrush and toothpaste, too.
-When it is not used, place it in a firm perforated container. This permits air circulation and helps to prevent damage.
-Avoid high temperatures, such as hot water, hot surfaces or direct sunlight, which can distort the mouth guard.
-Have regular dental checkups and bring your mouth guard along so the dentist can make sure it is still in good condition.

Don't take your teeth for granted. Protect your smile with a mouth guard!