Sports Mouth Guards- Why you need to wear a mouth guard for sports
Why it is important to wear a sports mouth guard to protect your teeth during contact sports. What sports should you wear a mouth guard?
Contact sports and dental injuries are not strangers to each other. In fact, they go hand in hand. This is the reason why you have to protect your mouth and that of your child whenever you are involved in any contact sport.
The protection of the mouth is done with a sports mouth guard. Regardless of whether it’s an adult that’s involved in a sport or a child, there’s a need for you to ensure that your mouth and that of your children are protected from possible injury.
A sports mouth guard is a very important and smart investment for your involvement in any form of contact sports. The frequent occurrence of dental injuries during sports which results in a substantial financial cost of treatments.
It is even more expensive to address a dental injury when surgery is needed to correct such injury. With sports mouth guards, however, you get significant protection for your teeth. The sports mouth guard serves as a cushion against sudden impacts that might cause serious medical and dental issues.
The possible issues that can arise from sport oral injuries include mouth lacerations, knocked-out or broken teeth, and even situations as grave as facial disfiguration and broken or shifted jaw, lip and cheek injuries, tooth root damage, concussions, bridgework, etc.
Sports mouth guards are usually worn for long periods and require getting the right fit. The proper fit of the mouth guard will offer your teeth and the entire mouth the best possible protection.
Rinse your sports mouth guards thoroughly before and after use to keep them safe and help them last longer. Mouth guards are usually made from soft plastic for maximum protection.
According to the American Dental Association, one-third of all recorded dental injuries are from sports and sports-related activities. They further said that the use of a sports mouth guard during sporting activities can help prevent over 200,000 oral injuries yearly.
In a study made about high school athletes, the result was that seventy-five percent of sustained injuries were picked up at times when mouth guards were not worn by the athletes. Forty percent of the oral injuries were recorded during baseball and basketball matches. The study also revealed that nine percent of all the athletes suffered from one or more types of oral injury and three percent of athletes suffered from a loss of consciousness.
Furthermore, according to the study, fifty-six percent of all recorded cases of concussions were suffered at a time when the athletes were not wearing mouth guards. This is one big reason why, regardless of child or adult, a mouth guard is a must use for any and all sports activities.
Types of mouth guards
In sports, there are different types of mouth guards that athletes can use to protect their mouths. The mouth guards vary according to effectiveness, comfort, price, and fit. The American Dental Association has said that the most effective and recommended mouth guards are those that are comfortable for the artist. They must be resilient, have a proper fitting, resistant to tearing, properly cleaned, durable and poses no restriction to speech and breathing.
In this line, the available types of mouth guards are:
Stock mouth guards that can be purchased by athletes “over-the-counter”. These stock mouth guards offer the least protection and comfort to athletes but are also very affordable. They are the least affordable and easiest due to no boiling choice of mouth guards.
Boil and Bite mouth guards which are usually required to be soaked in boiling water before they are placed in the mouth. Boil and Bite mouth guards are shaped for easy biting to form the guard against the contours of you’re the athlete’s teeth.
Custom mouth guards that are mostly molded and fitted to the athlete’s dentition by a dentist. The custom mouth guard requires the dentist to take a proper impression of an athlete’s teeth to ensure that the end-result of the mouth guard is a perfect and exact fit for your teeth.
The custom-made mouth guard is the best choice of a mouth guard, and it’s the type recommended by the American Dental Association. It fits better, holds the teeth firm and offers the best comfort and protection for the teeth.
Benefits Of Mouth guards
The main benefit of using a mouth guard during a sporting event and most especially contact sports is widely known. It is to keep the teeth and the whole of the mouth in a healthy condition.
The custom-made sports mouth guards are made to not only offer protection to the teeth but to give the athlete comfort. They allow the athlete to speak and breathe freely during sporting activities.
The other types of “over the counter mouth guards usually fail to absorb and evenly distribute impacts from injury because of poor fitting. This absorption and even distribution of impact are one of the benefits of a mouth guard and it is the reason why the best type of mouth boards are the custom-fit mouth guards.
During what sports should you wear a mouth guard?
A lot of people are always looking for an answer to this question at different times in their sporting activities in a quest to ensure the safety of oral health. Below is a list of sports among others that require the use of a sports mouth guard.
Acrobats, Boxing, Basketball, Football, Field hockey, Racquetball, Lacrosse, Handball, Ice hockey, Surfing, Martial arts, Roller hockey, Rugby, Shot-putting, Skateboarding, Skiing, Skydiving, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling, Water polo, Weightlifting as well as softball and baseball.
Protecting your teeth and mouth is very important for continued involvement in your favorite sporting activities. Therefore, whether it’s during training and practice sessions or the sports proper, wearing sports mouth guards are the best way to protect and preserve your teeth.
Kelly Hancock, RDH
Kelly is a registered dental hygienist and oral health care provider. She is passionate about oral hygiene and encourages people to achieve optimal oral health. She has been working in the dental profession for 16 years and worked in many different roles in the dental industry. Kelly is currently a pediatric dental hygienist specializing in children’s dentistry. She is committed to helping others with their oral health care issues and helping others achieve a smile they love.