What is a Mouthguard?

A mouthguard, as the name suggests, is designed to protect your mouth and teeth. Protecting your smile when playing sports is essential when you have braces.

Recommended Use for Sports Mouthguards

If you participate in basketball, boxing, hockey, football, gymnastics, lacrosse or other high impact athletic activities it is recommended by the Canadian Association of Orthodontists that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and gums from injury.

Prevent Dental Injuries with Mouthguards for Athletes

Sports mouthguards minimize the risk of serious injury to the mouth, jaw, teeth, tongue or cheek if an athlete is at risk of injury to the face. The dental appliance is most commonly worn on the upper teeth to enhance protection as they protrude further from the mouth and are at a higher risk for damage. As an essential piece of athletic gear sports, mouthguards are a necessity for athletes of any age or kind.

Types of sports mouthguards

With several options available, choosing the right mouthguard is essential. There are three basic types of mouthguards:

  1. the pre-made mouthguard
  2. the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard
  3. the custom-made mouthguard from your dentist or orthodontist

When you choose a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that’s comfortable, fits correctly in your mouth, doesn’t interfere with your ability to breathe, and is easy to clean. You can purchase pre-made mouth guards and boil-and-bite mouthguards from any sporting goods store while you are in orthodontic treatment. Once treatment is finished, it’s recommended to have a custom-fitted mouthguard made by a reputable dentist or orthodontist, like at Wonder West Orthodontics.

Protect Your Braces During Sports

If you wear an oral appliance like braces, it is highly recommended for you to wear a mouthguard during contact sports. If you get injured, your mouthguard will protect not only your braces but your cheeks and lips from oral injury. Your orthodontist at Wonder West Orthodontics will show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right option to protect your smile. Though it is common to only wear protection on your upper teeth, there are occasions where your orthodontist may recommend a custom-fit mouthguard for your lower teeth if you have braces.

Taking care of your mouthguard

As with any orthodontic appliance, taking the time to store it properly and clean it is essential to prolong its life, as well as knowing when to replace your old mouthguard with a new one. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mouthguard clean and working correctly:

  • Gently scrub your mouthguard after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Store your mouthguard in a protective case.
  • Do not leave it out in the sun or in hot water, because it may melt or become deformed.
  • Replace your mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season, or if you notice it has become worn and no longer fits properly.
  • Do not wear a retainer with your mouthguard.
  • Do not chew on or cut pieces off of your mouthguard. Mouthguards come in different shapes and sizes; ask your dentist which is best for you.
  • Bring it with you to each dental checkup, so your dentist can check to make sure it’s still in good shape!

Sports Mouthguards in London Ontario

Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries incurred by athletes. Our goal is to help minimize your chances of a sports-related injury to your smile. For more information about custom-fitted mouthguards or to schedule an appointment, contact the orthodontic professionals at Wonder West Orthodontics.


Children smiling after a sports game with smiles that were protected by custom mouthguards from the orthodontists at Foley Wilde in London, Ontario

Book a Consultation