LAKEVILLE, SAVAGE AND FARMINGTON, MINNESOTA – Dr. Trudy Bonvino, a Lakeville and Farmington Invisalign expert, and the entire staff at Cosmopolitan Orthodontics will educate patients about facial protection during National Facial Protection Month in April.
Although April is the official observance, protecting the face from injury is a message conveyed year-round by the dental braces specialist, Dr. Bonvino says. The staff at Cosmopolitan educates patients on the types of mouth guards available, along with their pros and cons.
“Wearing adequate facial protection is important in terms of your orthodontic treatment and your overall oral health,” she says. “Getting hit in the mouth while playing sports can damage your teeth and your orthodontic appliances.”
If you or your child has overjet or overbite, studies show that increases the likelihood of trauma, particularly if a mouth guard isn’t worn during athletic activities.
The American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons provides a tip sheet on the types of mouth guards that are available:
We take impressions of your teeth in our office and send the model to a lab to be made with heat-molded plastic. These mouth guards provide the greatest amount of comfort and protection, are ideal if you have braces, and can be adjusted for different sports. However, these cost more than commercially made guards.
• Boil and bite
Made of rubber, the guard is boiled, cooled and placed in your mouth until it hardens. This is the most popular type of mouth guard, due in part to its cost and its fit, which is better than over-the-counter guards. However, it becomes brittle over time and you cannot use this kind of mouth guard if you wear braces.
Made from polyvinyl or rubber, these mouth guards are easy to find because they are available in most major department stores. The drawback is that you cannot test them for comfort.
Also made from polyvinyl or rubber, the one thing going for these mouth guards is cost. But the drawbacks are certainly worth noting: this is the least effective type of guard when it comes to protecting your teeth and soft tissue. You have to keep your mouth closed for the guard to remain in place.
We recommend arming yourself with this knowledge when you make your mouth guard purchase.
“Properly protecting your teeth means protecting the investment you made in your orthodontic treatment, and helps ensure you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime,” Dr. Bonvino says.
National Facial Protection Month is presented in cooperation with the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
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