April is National Facial Protection Month
- Stock mouthguards are preformed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be purchased at most sporting goods stores and department stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little or no protection.
- Boil and bite mouthguards can also be purchased at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth guards. The "boil and bite" mouthguard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure.
- Custom-fitted mouthguards are individually designed and made in an orthodontic office. First, Dr. Hook will make an impression of your teeth and then mouthguard is molded over the model using a special material. Due to the use of the special material and because of the extra time and work involved, custom-made mouthguards are a little more expensive than the other types of mouthguards, but they provide the most comfort and protection.
- Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports. Mouthguards are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury, and Dr. Hook can make customized mouthguards that hold teeth in place and allow for normal speech and breathing.
- Wear a helmet. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to the head.
- Wear protective eyewear. Eyes are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially when playing sports.
- Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin. Hockey pucks, basketballs and racquetballs can cause severe facial damage at any age.