Dental Blog

7 Facts about Your Sports Mouth Guard

7 Facts About Your Sports Mouth Guard

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Sports Mouth Guard Dentist Holland MIPlaying a contact sport increases your risk of needing broken tooth repair or even tooth replacement. If you play a contact sport, you’ll want to let our dentist know as soon as possible so they can make a custom mouth guard. A sports mouth guard protects your teeth from impact damage so you can maintain good oral health and avoid an emergency trip to our office.

Here’s what our dentist wants you to know about your mouth guard.

1. Mouth guards protect your teeth.

Every time you walk onto the football field or step into the boxing ring, you increase your risk for oral injury. If you play a contact sport, you’ll need to ask our dentist about getting a sports mouth guard. A mouth guard is an oral appliance that fits over your upper teeth. Unlike the generic mouth guards you can get from the sporting goods store, a mouth guard made by our dentist offers a higher level of protection.

Our dentist will be able to create the best mouth guard for your smile and the sport you play. For example, a football mouth guard reduces your risk of needing emergency dental care the next time you’re tackled on the field. Likewise, a basketball mouth guard can protect your smile if another player shoots out their arm to collect a rebound and hits you in the mouth.

2. You can get a mouth guard even if you have braces.

Do you have braces? Even if you are in the middle of orthodontic treatment, you’ll need a mouth guard to protect your teeth while playing contact sports. Our dentist will recommend an upper and lower mouth guard so your braces don’t snag on soft tissue on impact. After all the time it took to straighten your smile, the last thing you need is to knock out a tooth while playing football.

3. You only need a mouth guard for top teeth.

We understand that you don’t want to wear a bulky oral appliance during your next game. Thankfully, a mouth guard from our dentist is custom-fit so you can breathe easier and feel comfortable. Unless you have braces or another fixed orthodontic appliance, you’ll only need a mouth guard for your upper teeth.

4. You need to clean your mouth guard.

Is your mouth guard giving you bad breath? If you don’t clean your mouth guard after every practice and game, you could be letting bacteria flourish. Bacteria and other microorganisms love to grow in dark moist environments—like in your mouth guard. To clean your mouth guard, simply scrub it out with a toothbrush and rinse it under cold water. Make sure that you store your dental guard in a dry ventilated container.

5. Replace your mouth guard every 6 months.

Your dental mouth guard won’t last forever. For the best protection, our dentist recommends you replace your teeth guard every 6 months. Once your mouth guard starts showing signs of wear and tear, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with our dentist.

If your mouth guard is slipping around in your mouth, that’s a sure sign that you need a new one. You should also ask about a new mouth guard if yours develops any imperfections such as rips and tears. If you use your mouth guard a lot, this might start to happen before the six-month mark. Check your mouth guard every time you use it to make sure it stays in top condition.

6. Store-bought mouth guards aren’t the best for your teeth.

If you’ve been to a sporting goods store, you’ve probably noticed that there are several types of mouth guards you can purchase. However, these mouth guards don’t protect your teeth as well as a professionally-made sports guard.

Pre-made mouth guards aren’t custom-made to fit your teeth, which means they’re prone to slipping around. If they slide out of place and you get hit, they can actually damage your teeth just as if you hadn’t worn a mouth guard at all.

Boil-and-bite mouth guards are another popular option that you can find at the store. These might fit better than a premade mouth guard, but even if it fits snugly against your teeth, it won’t be nearly as comfortable as a custom-made dental mouth guard made by our dentist. Since your mouth guard will spend a lot of time in your mouth, you want to choose one that fits comfortably and snugly against your teeth.

7. You may need a mouth guard for non-contact sports.

Many dental emergencies are actually due to non-contact sports injuries, so you should plan to wear a mouth guard even if you don’t think you’ll need one. Even non-contact sports carry a risk for dental injuries: you could slip, fall, or get accidentally hit by another player or by a piece of sporting equipment.

This is especially important in children, as getting in the habit of wearing a mouth guard during all sporting activities will help them keep their growing teeth safe from harm. It’s better to teach your child early on that they’ll benefit from wearing a mouth guard, even if they might not be able to see how necessary it might be.

Request an Appointment With Dr. Habecker

Our Holland dentist is dedicated to helping patients maintain healthy smiles with sports mouth guards and other preventive dentistry services. To schedule your appointment, call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524.

This blog post has been updated.


Dear Patient Family,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care and we appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to follow orders from the Governor's Office.

We are happy to say that we are opening our office for all patient treatment on June 1st, 2020. Our hours of operation will go back to normal, Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm. We want you to know that there will be some changes at your next appointment. Please be patient with us as our protocols will inevitably change as new guidelines are released.

  • We ask that you use our parking lot as the waiting room.
  • Please wear a mask when you come into the office and leave it on until entering the treatment room. Homemade is acceptable.
  • Only the person receiving treatment should come in the building, all others will be asked to wait in the car if at all possible. The exception will be for our minor patients who may have one parent accompany them.
  • We will be asking you some questions when you arrive at the office and we will also be taking your temperature.
  • We will not be able to offer magazines, drinks, or toys at this time as they cannot be disinfected to our standards. Eventually this will change and we will be happy to offer our amenities once again.

These changes have been made to adhere to the latest CDC guidelines and for the benefit of our patients and our staff. We want you to know that our office has always taken the safety of our patients very seriously and that we will continue to follow the highest levels of sterilization and disinfection to keep you protected. If you would like more information on what measures we have taken we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

We cannot say how excited we are to see all of our patients again and to provide for their dental needs. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon!

Dr. Habecker and Team