A mouth guard is a device used to protect the mouth and teeth. It can be made by a dentist or purchased at a store that sells athletic supplies. Your mouth guard should cover your upper or lower teeth and gums and fit so that your jaws are properly aligned. It should also be light, strong, and easy to clean.
A mouth guard is used to prevent mouth and dental injuries while participating in sports, such as horseback riding, handball, rugby, karate, judo, gymnastics, football, baseball, ice or field hockey, soccer, wrestling, boxing, water polo, lacrosse, and basketball.
Frequent grinding or clenching of your teeth can cause worn-down teeth, fractured enamel, or painful and loose teeth. Your dentist may recommend a mouth guard to protect your teeth if you grind them.