Nearly all strenuous physical activity can harm the teeth, lips, cheeks, tongue or jaws. Some sports are more high-risk than others. They include boxing, wrestling, football, water polo, basketball and weightlifting. Participants in these sports should always wear a mouthguard.
It does not offer foolproof protection but nevertheless reduces risk significantly by softening blows to the mouth and teeth and limiting injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth and jaw fractures.
There are two types of mouthguards: prefabricated mouthguards that can be adjusted to a certain degree, and mouthguards custom made by a dentist. A good mouthguard holds very well in the mouth and does not interfere with breathing or speaking.
The Ordre des dentistes du Québec recommends that you always wear a mouthguard when training for and playing sports, particularly contact sports.