Did you know that between 13-39% of all dental injuries are sports-related, resulting in 600,000 emergency room visits each year? Or that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to their teeth if they're not wearing a mouthguard? Mouthguards are flexible dental appliances that can be worn to protect your teeth from clenching, grinding, and sports injuries. If they aren't already on your list of equipment for you or your kids' sports, add it now!
Many sports such as hockey and basketball involve a high level of physical contact which can be dangerous to your teeth. For this reason, sports guards protect your teeth from trauma and are important in preventing concussions, damaged teeth, and nerve damage. Sports guards protect hundreds of thousands of dental injuries each year, and damaged teeth are the most expensive sports injury to fix.
In sports, whenever there is possible contact with competitors or immovable objects, we recommend the use of a mouthguard. Many schools and sports leagues require the wearing of mouthguards during both practice and competition, but they should be worn even when not mandatory. They are invaluable for the added protection that they provide. Parents should ensure that their children, who may not be aware of or fully understand the potential dangers of sports injuries, protect their winning smiles through the use of custom-fitted mouthguards.
Types of Mouthguards
While you can get over-the-counter (OTC) sports guards at many drug stores and sporting goods stores, these are not recommended because they only cover the top teeth and are not custom-fitted to your mouth. Custom-fitted sports guards are important because they protect important structures in your mouth much better than over-the-counter ones. Also, because OTC mouthguards are not custom-fitted, they can be more uncomfortable so you or your child may end up not wanting to use them.
Some drugstores sell boil-and-bite mouthguards, which require you to boil the mouthguard and then bite on it to create a slightly customized fit. While these are typically more comfortable, fitted, and protective than stock mouthguards, custom-made mouthguards from a dental office are still the most highly recommended.
When you get a mouthguard from our dental office, a mould of your teeth is made to create a customized mouthguard to accommodate the exact structure of your teeth and mouth. This type of mouthguard provides a better personalized fit and is much more effective at preventing sports injuries.
To consult with your dentist and inquire about a custom-fitted mouthguard and protect yourself from sports-related injuries, contact us today!