At the end of every season, we recommend replacing your mouth guard. In fact, mouth guards loose their material thickness over time and become less effective in absorbing impacts and protecting your teeth from injury.
Athletes are hard on their equipment and after several hours a day, it doesn't take long before they start to loose their performance and protective qualities. Nothing lasts forever and when it comes to mouth guards, they eventually will need replacing due to deformed and worn down material. However, the questions that come to mind are: How long does your mouthguard last? And, how do you know when to replace it?
When it comes to sports mouth guards, a good rule of thumb is to replace it after each season. A mouth guard's shelf life is determined by two factors; its usage, and how you take care of it. In all cases, a poorly maintained mouth guard wears out almost 2 times more quickly than when properly maintained.
Since mouth guards vary enormously between brands, material and durability, some wear out much quicker than others. The immediate replacement of your mouth guard will be necessary if the signs of wear-and-tear are as follows:
Witnessing athletes chewing on their mouth guards is not uncommon. The problem with this habit is that over time, chewing can cause the sports mouth guard to deform, split, or crack. This habit eventually and prematurely wears down the guard's protective qualities.
A new mouth guard will be necessary if an athlete has recently gone through dental treatment. Perhaps their teeth may have changed position, or their bite may be slightly altered, or the entire mouth structure has completely changed. In order to protect the teeth, the mouth guard must have the perfect fit every time. We recommend purchasing a new mouth guard instead of refurbishing an old one.
For young athletes, since their jaw grows and teeth shift, we recommend replacing the guard after 6 months of use or at the end of every sports season for optimal comfort and protection. Furthermore, if the athlete is undergoing orthodontic treatments and wears braces, we recommend a special mouth guard specifically designed to accomodate the brace wires and brackets.