How Long Do Mouth Guards Last? Protect Your Smile

Mouth guards are an essential piece of equipment for anyone who participates in contact sports or other high-impact activities. They protect your teeth, gums, and jaw from potential injuries caused by impact. But how long do mouth guards last?

This is a common question that many people ask, and the answer may surprise you. While the lifespan of a mouth guard can vary depending on several factors, it’s important to know when it’s time to replace your mouth guard to ensure maximum protection.

In this article, we’ll explore the various types of mouth guards and provide some tips on how to extend their lifespan. So, whether you’re a professional athlete or someone who enjoys recreational sports, read on to learn more about the lifespan of mouth guards.

How long do mouth guards last? An attractive and fit woman putting her mouth guard in her mouth.

How long do mouth guards last?

Stock mouth guards typically last for six months to a year, while boil and bite mouth guards can last for one to two years. Custom-fit mouth guards can last for two to five years, depending on how often they are used and how well they are cared for.

It’s important to note that even if your mouth guard appears to be in good condition, it may still need to be replaced. Mouth guards can accumulate bacteria and become contaminated over time, which can lead to infections or illnesses.

Different types of mouth guards

There are three main types of mouth guards: stock mouth guards, boil and bite mouth guards, and custom-fit mouth guards.

Stock mouth guards are pre-formed and ready to use. They are the least expensive option but also the least comfortable and offer the least protection. Stock mouth guards can be bulky and ill-fitting, which makes it difficult to breathe and speak.

Boil and bite mouth guards are made of thermoplastic material that softens in hot water. They are then placed in the mouth and shaped around your teeth and gums by biting down. Boil and bite mouth guards provide better protection than stock mouth guards and offer a more comfortable fit.

Custom-fit mouth guards are the most expensive option, but they provide the best protection and comfort. They are made by taking an impression of your teeth and gums and then creating a mouth guard that is specifically designed for your mouth. Custom-fit mouth guards are the most popular option among professional athletes.

Factors that affect the lifespan of mouth guards

Several factors can affect the lifespan of mouth guards.

  • The first factor is the quality of the mouth guard material. Higher quality materials tend to last longer and provide better protection.
  • The second factor is the frequency of use. The more often you use your mouth guard, the more quickly it will wear out.
  • The third factor is the intensity of the activity. If you participate in high-impact sports, your mouth guard will wear out faster than if you participate in low-impact sports.
  • The fourth factor is the level of care you give to your mouth guard. If you clean and store your mouth guard properly, it will last longer and provide better protection.
A man wearing a hoodie and wrist wraps holding his mouth guard in front of him staring at it.

Signs that your mouth guard needs to be replaced

There are several signs that your mouth guard needs to be replaced.

  1. The first sign is wear and tear. If your mouth guard is cracked, torn, or has holes in it, it’s time to replace it.
  2. The second sign is an improper fit. If your mouth guard no longer fits properly, it will not provide adequate protection.
  3. The third sign is a foul odor. If your mouth guard smells bad, it’s a sign that it needs to be cleaned or replaced.
  4. The fourth sign is discoloration. If your mouth guard has turned yellow or brown, it’s a sign that it needs to be replaced.

How to properly care for your mouth guard

In the sport of boxing, aside from boxing gloves, a good mouth guard is essential to protect your teeth, just as hand wraps are essential to protect your hands. Proper care is essential to prolong the lifespan of your mouth guard. Here are some tips for caring for your mouth guard:

  • Rinse your mouth guard with warm water before and after each use.
  • Brush your mouth guard with a toothbrush and toothpaste after each use.
  • Store your mouth guard in a clean, dry container with vents to allow air circulation.
  • Do not expose your mouth guard to high temperatures or direct sunlight.
  • Do not chew on your mouth guard or use it as a chew toy.
  • Do not share your mouth guard with others.
A bearded, muscular man with wrist wraps holding his mouth guard.

Tips for prolonging the lifespan of your mouth guard

In addition to proper care, there are several things you can do to prolong the lifespan of your mouth guard:

  • Have a spare mouth guard on hand in case your primary mouth guard becomes lost or damaged.
  • Avoid biting down too hard on your mouth guard during use.
  • Consider using a mouth guard cleaner or disinfectant to keep your mouth guard clean and fresh.
  • Replace your mouth guard if it no longer fits properly or if it has sustained damage.

How often should you replace your mouth guard?

As mentioned earlier, the lifespan of a mouth guard can vary depending on several factors. It’s generally recommended that you replace your mouth guard every six months to two years, depending on the type of mouth guard and how often it is used. If your mouth guard shows signs of wear and tear, discoloration, or a foul odor, it’s time to replace it.

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Recommendations for replacing your mouth guard

If you’re unsure when to replace your mouth guard, it’s best to consult with your dentist or orthodontist. They can examine your mouth guard and provide recommendations for replacement based on your individual needs.

It’s also important to replace your mouth guard if you have had any dental work done, such as braces or a tooth extraction. Changes to your teeth and gums can affect the fit and effectiveness of your mouth guard, so it’s important to have it checked and replaced if necessary.

Conclusion

In conclusion, mouth guards are essential for anyone who participates in contact sports or other high-impact activities. The lifespan of a mouth guard can vary depending on several factors, including the type of mouth guard, frequency of use, intensity of activity, and level of care.

It’s important to replace your mouth guard when it shows signs of wear and tear, improper fit, foul odor, or discoloration. Proper care and maintenance can help prolong the lifespan of your mouth guard and ensure maximum protection.

How Long Do Mouth Guards Last? Protect Your SmileFOOTBALLRS on Youtube

If you’re unsure when to replace your mouth guard, consult with your dentist or orthodontist for recommendations based on your individual needs.

We hope this guide has provided valuable insights into the question of ‘how long do mouth guards last’. We’d love to hear about your experiences and insights regarding mouth guard longevity. Feel free to share your thoughts and tips in the comments section below!

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