Sport Guards: Do I Need One?
By Mina Levi, DDS, 07/31/2014

A sport mouth guard is an appliance that is prescribed to an athlete to protect his teeth from being damaged from a physical blow to the face or an accident. A sport mouth guard is usually made with a thicker material and given its purpose; it is made to extend to cover the entire jaw, even the gum issue so that the entire mouth can be protected.

When an athlete has his or her mouth guards made, he or she can make a decision to incorporate the team colors with the appliance or even the team logo or sign. Sports guards may be fabricated so that it is part of the team uniform. There are different dyes that may be added to the acrylic material, so that some color may be incorporated.

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When are sports mouth guards required?
Protective mouth guards are mandated for ice hockey, field hockey, lacrosse and football by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Several states have mandated wearing mouth guards for additional sports. Other sports such as basketball, baseball, boxing, and wrestling also require properly-fitted mouth guards. The AAD and AAPD recommend the use of protective mouth guards to prevent oral/facial sports injuries.

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What kinds of mouth guards are options?
There are several options with different design and/or fabrication. Options include stock, boil and bite, custom-made vacuform, and pressure-laminated mouth guards. The stock and boil and bite mouth guards are the least expensive, but do not provide the optimal fit for the prevention of injury. Custom-made mouth guards offer the best protection and the best fit. There are also design modifications that are possible that allow for tooth eruption throughout the season, as well as orthodontic modifications.

If you have questions concerning sports mouth guards and which option is the best for you, visit Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS on the web at or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.