Part of our family dentistry involves helping athletes in Temecula and Riverside of all ages. One way we are able to do so is by providing them with customized mouth guards. While mouthguards serve as a protect against sporting accidents and collisions, they can present dangers to your teeth and your health. Here’s why.
Guarding Against Infections
The way you use, store, and clean your mouth guard will affect your health. The mouth is coined in some medical communities as the gateway to the body. Most contaminants enter our bodies through the mouth. Consequently, it is important to understand the number of harmful agents that can grow on your mouth guard. In fact, some of the germs that are proven to be present on unclean mouth guards include:
Microorganisms thrive in warm, moist areas. Hence, it only makes sense that they would be attracted to mouth guards.
Have you ever taken your mouth guard out of your mouth during the game or activity? Likely you have. If you hands have been in contact with the ground, a ball, other players or objects, there is a chance that germs could be transferred to your mouth guard. Initially, this may not be a large concern; the longer your mouth guard goes uncleaned, the more germs it will have. Because mouth guards rest tightly against the teeth and gums, they can easily pass on germs to gums where dental infections can begin. A good way to prevent dental infections is by scheduling a professional dental cleaning.
If you have been getting sick often or can’t seem to shake a nasty bug, you may want to check if you have been keeping your mouth guard clean. Simple mistakes like keeping it in a container that hasn’t been sterilized or placing it on a bag or bench can get you ill. Sometimes illnesses that you may not equate with your mouth guard can occur. A few symptoms of exposure to a contaminated mouth guard are:
- Soar throat
- Irritated gums
Tips for Cleaning Your Mouthguard
- Brush your teeth before you wear a mouth guard
- Always have a backup mouth guard in case of emergencies
- Never share your mouth guard with your team members
- Make it a point to clean your mouth guard before you store them
(951) 383-6858 – Temecula
(951) 667-1595 – Riverside