Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports.
There are three types of mouth guards:
Stock mouth protectors are preformed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting good stores and department stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little or no protection. Dentists do not recommend their use.
Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The "boil and bite" mouth guard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure.
Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist's instructions. First, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is then molded over the model using a special material. Due to the use of the special material and because of the extra time and work involved, this custom-made mouth guard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and protection.
Orthodontic Specialists of Florida (OSOF) and Orthodontic Specialists of New England (OSONE) will provide middle and high school student athletes free custom-fitted mouth guards throughout August at all of their Florida and New England locations while supplies last, the founder and owner of both announced today.
Dr. Alan Shoopak, D.M.D., is hosting the giveaway at all 30 of his Florida and New England locations in partnership with the American Association of Orthodontists and NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith to promote sports safety and the prevention of facial and oral injuries.
"My staff is committed to scheduling and facilitating the fittings, as well as providing the student athlete with a state-of-the-art mouth guard from SafeTGard, and it's all free," he said. "As a father, and fan of all athletics, we're proud of our student athletes, and we're proud to help keep them safe."
Approximately 80 percent of all sports-related injuries to children between the ages of 5 and 14 are suffered while playing baseball, soccer, basketball and football, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"I have seen too many injuries walk through our doors that could have been prevented had the athlete been wearing a fitted mouth guard. So collectively, as a team, we will be protecting thousands of great smiles during the upcoming school year," said Dr. Shoopak.
Free mouth guards are available at all Orthodontic Specialists of Florida and Orthodontic Specialists of New England locations only while supplies last, so custom fitting appointments are highly recommended and also free.