Sports guards, mouth guards and athletic guards are all names for the same thing: a removable device used to protect your mouth from dental injury in recreational sports. There is a trend in professional sports to see athletes from the NBA to the NFL chewing on their guards between plays and on the bench. Some have even created unique places of storing their guards from behind their ears to more unsanitary places. Mason Plumlee of the Nets stores his guard inside his sock between plays! While Dr. Glazer doesn't recommend this method of storage, she agrees anything to wear your athletic guard.
Essentially a piece of durable plastic, guards are custom fit to the form of your teeth and do more than just protect your teeth. This additional piece of safety equipment can give you the confidence to go against an aggressive opponent knowing you're protected from elbows and knees.
"We can even make the guard to match your team colors!"
Not all guards are made equally, some are more effective than other. Stock guards found in your local pharmacy don't fit completely to your anatomy and are not recommended for use. The material doesn't fit properly and can make talking and breathing difficult. Alternatively, a custom fit guard is the best protection against mouth and tooth injuries. Making a guard is an easy process where we take an impression of your teeth and construct the guard over a model of your mouth. We can even make the guard to match your team colors! Athletic guards should be replaced at the end of the season as they become less effective with continued use. Adolescents should replace their guard when it no longer fits comfortably in their mouth. Read more about the rise of professional athletes wearing sports guards at the New York Times.