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Mouthguard Use and Safety

Our partners at the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators explain how to stay safe while playing contact sports.

Titans' Keith & McGinnis on Mouthguards

Mike Keith, the Voice of the Titans, and Coach Dave McGinnis, a veteran NFL coach currently serving as a commentator for the Tennessee Titans Radio Network, discuss the importance of wearing a mouthguard when participating in any contact sport at any level, from youth to professional leagues.

Nashville Predators on Mouthguards

Nashville Predators players and former analyst Stu Grimson discuss types of mouthguards and how to care for them.

How do I request complementary mouthguards for my team or league?

In recognition of April as Youth Sports Safety Month, Delta Dental of Tennessee is giving away free boil and bite mouthguards to athletes ages 10 and under in organized sports leagues in Tennessee. The mouthguards come in two varieties: one with a strap that can be attached to a helmet, recommended for use in football and ice hockey, and one without the strap, ideal for sports like basketball, martial arts, and soccer. Only coaches and league commissioners should submit the request. The deadline for requests is  April 25, 2021. Orders will ship later this summer.

Click to Request

What Should I Do in a Tooth Emergency?

If you or your child experiences a tooth emergency, these steps can help save the tooth.

Choosing a Mouthguard

Stock

These mouthguards can be found at almost any sporting goods store and are inexpensive. They are pre-formed and are ready to wear right out of the package. Because they are generically formed, however, they may not fit your teeth and mouth very well. These mouth guards can be bulky which can make it hard to breathe and talk while wearing them.

 

Boil and Bite

These mouthguards can also be found at most sporting goods stores and are inexpensive. These often fit much better than the stock mouth guards because they can be formed to suit your mouth. The mouthguard is boiled in hot water to soften the plastic, and then it is inserted into your mouth. As the plastic cools, it shapes to fit around your teeth. However, you may still end up with a bulky mouthpiece, and getting the boil and bite method just right can be tricky.

 

Custom-fit

You can get a mouthguard made specifically for your teeth from your dentist. The dentist will take a mold of your mouth and send it off to have a mouthguard made just for you. This requires visits to your dentist and is also the most expensive way to get a mouthguard. This mouthguard will fit you the best, which can lead to better comfort and more routine use.

 

Any mouthguard is better than no mouth guard, but it is important to find one that you will use regularly and that does not inhibit your breathing during activity. It should fit comfortably, cover the teeth and gums, and remain securely in place during activity.

How to Care for Mouthguards

To make sure your mouthguard keeps protecting your teeth, it’s important to give it some care. Mouthguards spend a lot of time in your mouth, an area that can have a lot of germs. When you take the mouthguard out, those germs can grow and the mouthguard can even become moldy. Yuck!

To take care of your mouthguard you should:

• Brush the mouthguard with a toothbrush and toothpaste after every use.

• Soak the mouthguard in denture cleaning solution for 20 to 30 minutes one time each month.

• Freshen up the mouthguard by soaking it overnight in a cup of mouthwash.

• Transport the mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents so air can circulate.

• Replace the mouthguard when it becomes too worn down.