ADA Accessibility Information


Due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic and current restrictions imposed by Governor Inslee and the State of Washington Department of Health, our office will be temporarily closed for all but emergency dental care. This closure is expected to last until May 18th, at which time we expect to resume regular business hours and all patient care. If you are experiencing a dental emergency requiring immediate attention, you may contact Dr. Kay at (206) 915-8020. Thank you for your support and understanding during this challenging time.

Sports Mouthguard

Sweaty boy with mouth guard in his mouthA sports mouthguard is a dental device worn over your teeth to protect your the mouth from blows to the head. Mouthguards are vital for athletes participating in any sport, especially those involving flying objects or body contact.

At Kevin Kay DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, custom-made sports mouthguards are designed to typically cover your upper teeth to protect against teeth trauma, cut lips and tongue, and other injuries to your mouth. If you wear braces or other orthodontic appliances, we strongly recommend you wear a sports mouthguard on your lower teeth as well.

Difference Between Over-the-Counter and Sports Mouthguard

Over-the-counter mouthguards can be either stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards. Stock mouthguards come in only a few standard sizes and are not all that comfortable. On top of that, they only provide minimal protection. However, boil-and-bite mouthguards are quite popular among athletes and offer reasonable protection.

Although both custom-made and over-the-counter mouthguards are made of plastic, the latter ones are made from thin, more flexible plastic so they can conform to the teeth of a wider range of people. You have to boil boil-and-bite mouthguards to soften the plastic and then mold them according to your teeth.

Protecting your teeth with an over-the-counter sports mouthguard is certainly better than wearing no mouthguard at all. However, if the mouthguard gets dislodged during any activity, it won’t be able to protect your mouth. You may also end up biting through the soft plastic if you clench your jaw hard enough.

Custom-made sports mouthguards are created at Kevin Kay DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry from a thermoplastic material. The mouthguards are sized based on the impression taken from your mouth.

These devices are very personalized as Dr. Kevin Kay adjusts the thickness of the material depending on how much force will be exerted on the mouthpiece. Unlike over-the-counter mouthguards, no two custom mouthguards are identical, and hence, they provide the optimal level of protection to the athlete’s mouth. They also provide the best comfort and fit.

The level of protection provided by our custom-made mouthguards is unmatched. They mold to each tooth closely, preventing unnecessary movement. They are incredibly durable, reducing the risk of an athlete biting through the material. They also do not lose their shape with repeated use, as is the case with over-the-counter mouthguards. Adult athletes can wear them for a long time, even years, without any wear and tear. However, it is a good idea to bring your mouthguard to Kevin Kay DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry each time you come so that we can check it for damage and fit.

Children, whose jaws are still developing, may need to get their sports mouthguard changed more frequently.

How To Take Care of Your Sports Mouthguard

To ensure your mouthguard lasts a long time, you should:
•  Rinse your mouthguard with cold water before and after you use it, and gently scrub it with a mild toothpaste or soap.
•  Make sure your mouthguard is completely dry before you store it in a perforated container. This permits the flow of air and prevents the mouthguard from being damaged.
•  Keep it away from high temperatures as that can warp the plastic material of the mouthguard.
•  Check your mouthguard for rips and tears or if it becomes uncomfortable or loose.

Make sure you bring your mouthguard to each scheduled visit so that we can ensure it delivers maximum performance. To schedule an appointment with us, call us at (425) 738-8476 today.