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Take a drive in any medium to large-sized town and at some point, you will probably see signs on the freeway reminding you to drive safely, wear your seatbelt, and not to text and drive. It seems that everything has a warning on it these days, including coffee cups, which remind you that your coffee may be hot. Even TV shows and news reports come with content warnings. While you may chuckle at some of the warnings out there (and let’s face it, some them are a little strange), life can be dangerous at times, and you should do things like wear your seatbelt when you drive, or wear a helmet when you are biking. Those are just common-sense tips to keep you safe.

At the same time, what are you doing to keep your teeth safe? If you are rushing twice a day and flossing once a day, that is a good start, but are you giving them the right protection otherwise? No one has made seat belts for your teeth, although who knows, that could be the next automotive innovation, but you can damage or even lose a tooth in a collision or accident. That is where a mouth guard can come in handy. We aren’t suggesting that you wear a mouth guard during your morning commute or when you cut the grass. However, mouth guards are great for protecting your smile during sports or recreational activities. If you play football or hockey, a mouth guard is a standard piece of equipment. However, if you enjoy soccer, rock climbing, or any activity that could result in an impact to your mouth or teeth, you should consider wearing a mouth guard.

There are three basic types of mouth guards, stock, boil-and-bite and custom. Stock mouth guards can be purchased in sporting goods, retail and box stores. You simply pick out one that is in your size, take it home and clean it. Then you put it in your mouth and you are ready to go. Boil-and-bite mouth guards are also available over-the-counter. You place these mouth guards in boiling water to soften them up. When they are sufficiently cool you bite down on it so that it conforms to the shape of your teeth. This type of mouth guard offers better protection than a stock mouth guard. However, for the best protection and best fit, you should talk to our dentist, Dr. Ronald Levine about having a custom mouth guard made. This type of mouth guard is crafted from impressions made from your mouth and teeth, and will give you the protection you need on the field, court or rink. Depending on the hazards you face on the job, you may also want to talk to the dentist about having a custom mouth guard made for work.

You will need to rinse your mouth guard and its case before and after each use, and brush it on a regular basis to make sure that it is clean and free of bacteria. You should also inspect it frequently to see if it has holes or cracks. If you notice damage to your mouth guard, have a new one made, and it is a good idea to start each sports season with a new mouth guard.

If you would like to find out more about custom mouth guards in Germantown, Maryland, we would be happy to see you for an appointment at Blue Ribbon Dental. We can fit you for your new mouth guard and give you an exam and cleaning as well. If you would like to make an appointment, call 301.540.8808 today.