Hudson NH Dental Associates Dentists

Preventative Services :: Hudson Dental Associates

Who should wear a mouthguard and when?

Any child or adult who is involved in organized athletics and recreational activities should wear a mouthguard. In general, you should wear a mouthguard any time you have a change of making contact with other participants or hard surfaces.

The American Dental Association recommends that people who participate in the following activities wear mouthguards: Acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.

Protection offered by mouthguards

Mouthguards prevent an estimated 200,000 injuries a year in high school and college organized sports alone. Unfortunately, about five million teeth are knocked out every year when mouthguards are not worn. Mouthguards protect the teeth, tongue, cheeks, lips and jaws from injury. By absorbing the shock of impact, mouthguards protect teeth against chips, cracks, fractures, damage, and dislodging. They also help avoid more serious injuries, including concussions, jaw fractures and neck injuries by preventing the lower jaw from making contact with the upper jaw.

A properly fitted and protective mouthguard is an important equipment investment, especially when considering the cost of dental work for damaged teeth. With a lifetime of care, repair of damage can cost thousands of dollars per tooth. Repaired teeth also can develop other dental problems, such as periodontal disease.

Mouthguard options

Three mouthguard options: stock, “Boil and Bite” and custom – are available.


  • Least expensive option
  • Comes in three sizes – small, medium and large
  • Restricts breathing and speech
  • Offers least protection since fit cannot be adjusted
  • Held in place by constantly biting down
  • Purchased at sporting goods stores
  • Not recommended by dental and health care professionals

“Boil and Bite”:

  • Less expensive than custom
  • Limited sizes
  • May become thin over time
  • Not as protective as custom
  • Interferes less with speech and breathing than stock
  • Purchased at sporting goods store
  • Formed using boiling water at home
  • Not long-lasting
  • Often does not cover all teeth


  • Made from an impression of the mouth
  • Offers the best fit
  • Interferes the least with speech and breathing
  • Can accommodate orthodontic work or previous dental injuries
  • Can be designed for a specific sport
  • Most expensive
  • Made by a dentist
  • Highly recommended by dentists and other health care professionals
Protect your smile

Currently, five amateur sports require mouthguards during practice and competition: boxing, football, ice hockey, men’s lacrosse and women’s field hockey. Many local school districts and state athletic organizations have their own policies regarding mouthguard use. With or without policies, anyone who participates in athletic activities should protect their smile with a high-quality, properly fitting mouthguard.

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