April is National Facial Protection Month, which means that health professionals across the United States are working together to provide resources and tips about how to protect your face from physical harm. It is well known that professional athletes wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth from damage while they are participating in physical activities. Whether you are a professional or not, it is always important to wear a mouthguard or dental retainer while you are engaged in any sport activity. Some may think that using a mouthguard or dental retainer is unsanitary, but with proper care, your mouthguard will remain clean and will provide sufficient protection for a long time.
How do you care for your mouthguard/dental retainer?
- The most important thing to keep in mind if you want to maintain the effectiveness of your mouthguard is to avoid clenching your teeth, or chewing on it. A mouthguard should rest comfortably along your upper teeth without interfering with your comfort.
- It is important to wash your mouthguard with cold water while scrubbing it with an antibacterial soap and a soft brush to sanitize it after each use.
- Although more sturdy, a dental retainer should be treated carefully quite like a rubber or plastic mouthguard. Dental retainers should be washed with antibacterial soap and warm water after each use.
- It is also a good idea to store your mouthguard/dental retainer in a hard case in a cool room to protect it while it is not being used.
Proper facial protection is not limited to the use of a mouthguard/dental retainer. Always wear a helmet while you are riding a bike, skateboarding, or rollerblading to protect your head from serious injury.