Q:

What should you look for in a mouthguard if you have braces?

A:

Quick Answer

Many mouth guards cover only the upper teeth, according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, but mouth guards that cover the upper and lower teeth are recommended for patients with braces. The mouth guard should allow speaking and breathing, stay firmly in place during action if used for sports, provide a high degree of comfort and fit, and be durable, easy to clean, resilient, tear-resistant, odorless and tasteless.

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Full Answer

According to Colgate's Oral and Dental Health Resource Center, there are two main types of mouth guards: those custom-made by a dentist and generic boil-and-bite or flexible mouth guards. Custom-molded mouth guards can be expensive. Because braces shift teeth around, a custom-fit mouth guard may not fit the mouth after a few months, potentially rendering it unsafe and uncomfortable. Generic mouth guards can be molded to fit the wearer's teeth at home. Many generic mouth guard brands are designed specifically for braces.

The Consumer Guide to Dentistry explains that mouth guards protect patients with braces from cutting and bruising of the lips, tongues and cheeks. Mouth guards also protect wearers from chipped or broken teeth, root and bone damage, and tooth loss. By preventing the lower jaw from jamming into the upper jaw, mouth guards can prevent more serious injuries such as jaw fracture, cerebral hemorrhage, concussion and neck injury.

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