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Kirkland, WA residents ask, “What are sports mouth guards?”

custom-made sport mouth guards to protect the teeth from injury during athletic events.

Children, teens, and adults who engage in sports protect their bodies by wearing helmets, elbow and knee pads, shin guards, shoulder pads, and chest protection. Athletics require the use of protective gear to guard the body and to shield the core and limbs from injury. The mouth must be considered as well. Dr. Ann Kelley and the team at Kingsgate Dental Clinic in Kirkland, WA offer custom sport mouth guards to protect patients’ mouths from injuries during athletic activities.

What is a sports mouth guard?

Also called simply a mouth guard or mouth protector, a sports mouth guard is a device worn to protect the teeth if physical contact is made with the face or head. Although they are generally worn for sports that involve physical contact, even non-contact or individual sports athletes may consider wearing a mouth guard.

Mouth guards are important for athletes participating in sports that may involve falls, physical contact, or flying equipment. These sports may include football, basketball, baseball, rugby, lacrosse, hockey, martial arts, wrestling, skateboarding, and more. If you are involved in any activity that may result in an injury to the mouth, a sports guard should be worn for protection. For these activities, many sports, leagues, or schools require the use of a mouth guard.

A mouth guard covers the upper teeth. It protects against broken teeth, lost teeth, soft tissue damage, cut lips, and damage to your mouth. Patients who have braces or dental restorations on their lower teeth may be advised to wear mouth guards on those teeth as well.

Mouth guard types

When searching for a mouth guard it is important to find one that is easy to clean, resilient, tear-resistant, and comfortable. The device should fit properly so it does not interfere with your natural speech or breathing. There are three kinds of mouth protectors:

  • Stock guards
  • Boil and bite
  • Custom-made

Stock guards are the most basic. They are usually inexpensive and are formed so they are ready to wear. This design does not fit everyone and may not fit comfortably or properly. The design may be bulky causing interference with your speech and breathing. Stock guards provide the least amount of protection against injury.

Mouth guards are important for athletes participating in sports that may involve falls, physical contact, or flying equipment.

Boil and bite mouth guards are also already formed, but the shape can be altered. This is done by boiling the device in water and then biting the warm plastic creating a more customized fit. These guards are available at sporting goods stores. It is important to follow the instructions closely as it is easy to end up with a device that fits poorly.

Custom-made sports guards are created individually for each patient. Your dentist designs a mouth guard using impressions of your teeth. These mouth guards fit the most comfortably and offer the best protection. Wearing a mouth guard during athletic events reduces the risk of an oral injury if the individual falls, is hit with a piece of equipment, or experiences physical contact.

Although widely available online or in sporting goods stores, a well-made sports mouth guard from your dentist can limit jaw injury or a concussion. Retail mouth guards are not properly designed to meet standards for optimal safety and efficiency. Without an appropriate, comfortable fit, patients are less likely to wear the device. It is important to have the proper gear designed by your dentist to improve patient compliance in wearing the device and its effectiveness at protecting the teeth and soft tissues.

Caring for your sports mouth guard

Custom-made sports guards are created individually for each patient.

Proper cleaning and care help maintain your mouth guard, adding to its effectiveness and longevity.

  • Rinse the device with cold water before and after each use.
  • Clean the mouth guard with mild soap and cool water.
  • Store and transport the mouth guard appropriately.
  • High temperatures can distort the shape of your mouth guard. Avoid exposure to the sun or hot water.
  • Check your mouth guard periodically for wear and tear. Replace it if it shows signs of damage or becomes loose or uncomfortable.
  • Take the mouth guard to your routine dental appointments so your dentist can examine it for its effectiveness.

If you need a sports mouth guard, contact Dr. Ann Kelley and the staff at Kingsgate Dental Clinic in Kirkland, WA. Call  (425) 385-0080 .


Back to Sports Guards And Mouth Guards Page

Dr. Ann Kelley is a graduate of the Creighton University School of Dentistry in Omaha, Nebraska. She highly values the comfort of her patients, and places the needs of the patient above her convenience. Her dental clinic is built to bring the best and most comfortable dental experience to all her patients. She builds relationships with her patients based on trust and always acts to safeguard this trust.

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Damen CReviews on Google
 - 5 Star Rating Review I have gone to Kingsgate Dental for about two years now, and every experience has been excellent. Dr. Kelley is very knowledgeable and very thorough with her analysis of the issues that I have faced with my teeth. The staff is polite and always happy to answer any questions that I have and give me pointers to improve my dental hygiene. I will continue to go to Kingsgate Dental/Dr Kelley for years to come.
Kathy WReviews on Google
 - 5 Star Rating Review By Kathy W Dr. Kelley and her staff are a treasure. State of the art equipment, As a past Dental Administrator for a very large practice in Lynnwood, am soo happy to know that Dr. Kelley, her hygenists who have been there for over 20 years, are bar none the most indepth and through a cleaning as you would ever find. I have never felt more then a slight prick when getting novocaine. Between numbing the gum and gentle procedure they also offer nitroux, for us real scaredy cats. Music, neck pillows and blankets all make the experience truly enjoyable. I had gone too many years neglecting my teeth and found through Tammy, my hygenist and Dr. Kelley they were able to put together a plan to save the teeth they could and design partials for the ones I could not afford to save. I am a small business owner with no insurance and yet they came up with a plan that I am so happy with. I am without any infection, so much healthier and the partials Dr. Kelley designed are like a second skin. From Jackie and MaryAnn at the front desk to the assistants, hygenists and Dr. Kelley you will be in professional and caring hands. I recommend to all my family and friends.
Damen CReviews on Google
 - 5 Star Rating Review By dixy i Great experience. Dr. Kelley and her staff made me feel less anxious about the whole thing. Great job on the crown too! I've already recommended two friends! If I was staying in the Seattle area I'd definitely return.

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