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Mouthguards 'essential to protect dental health'
Updated: 12/11/2008 8:00:30 PM
 

Mouthguards Millions of Americans actively play sports, which may leave their teeth vulnerable to a dental health injury.

That is why it is vital for athletes to wear mouthguards to help protect their face and teeth, according to Master Sargeant Gigi Frost of the Second Dental Squadron, writing in the Shreveport Post.

She describes three types of mouthguards that may offer dental health protection for amateur athletes: stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards and custom-made mouthguards.

The first option, which is widely available at sports stores, offers some protection but may be uncomfortable for some people because of its one-size-fits-all dimensions.

In contrast, boil-and-bite guards are not much more expensive and offer the advantage of being molded to an individual's teeth after it has been softened in hot water.

However, even these products may feel bulky in the mouth, Frost says. Those who would like the most comfortable fit - which does not interfere with breathing or speaking - may want to check out a custom-made option.

This type of mouthguard can be fitted by a dentist or orthodontist. However, because it is made by a dental professional, it is also the most expensive option.

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