A mouth guard is a customized device worn over the teeth to protect them from injury. Unlike a dental splint, which is an orthodontic device used to treat conditions such as teeth-grinding, snoring or sleep apnea, a mouth guard is primarily used to protect the teeth during athletic or recreational activities.
Although mouth guards are usually worn to cover the upper teeth, dentists may recommend that athletes who wear braces or have dentures also wear a mouth guard on their lower teeth. An effective mouth guard should be comfortable, durable and easy to clean, and allow the wearer to breathe and speak normally.
Mouth guards are an important safety device for athletes, helping to protect them against chipped or broken teeth, jaw damage or fracture, tooth loss and, even, concussion.