Why Wear A Sports Guard?
If you play any contact sport, you are putting your teeth at risk. Wearing a sports guard or mouthguard that is custom-made for your mouth offers protection for your teeth, your tongue, your lips, your cheeks and your jaw.
According to the American Dental Association, over 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year by wearing a mouthguard. This explains why it is vital to wear a mouthguard while playing a contact sport.
If you play any of these sports, the ADA recommends wearing a protective dental mouthguard:
- Field Hockey
- Water Skiing
What are mouthguards and how do they work?
Mouthguards are thick, plastic protective devices shaped like a dental tray, which form to the shape of the teeth, gums and mouth.
Generally, a mouthguard covers only the upper teeth. Mouthguards are like airbags; they absorb the shock of the collision and disseminate pressure around the mouthguard instead of your teeth and jaws. By absorbing and dissipating facial impacts, mouthguards can significantly reduce the chances of incurring a mouth injury.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three types of mouthguards. These include ready-made mouthguards, mouth-formed (boil and bite) mouthguards and custom dentist-fitted mouthguards. Boil and bite mouthguards are the most common mouthguards that we see. These are fitted by placing the mouthguard in hot water and then biting into it firmly. Custom-fitted mouthguards are always the best option when it comes to protection against tooth and mouth trauma. They are made to not only fit snugly over your teeth, but also into your mouth. A great fit means you’re less likely to take it out or misplace it.
Three Reasons To Use Mouthguards During Contact Sports
- Mouthguards help you avoid tooth displacement, cracks and fractures
The most obvious purpose of the mouthguard in sports is to prevent your teeth from cracking or breaking. Wearing a mouthguard takes the brunt of the blow and prevents teeth from breaking or being knocked out.
- Mouthguards prevent permanent facial scarring
A direct blow to the mouth may not loosen or break a tooth. However, it could cause the wearer to bite into the soft tissue of the mouth. This could displace the tooth, and potentially require you to need stitches and leave you with a scar.
A mouthguard protects this soft tissue in your mouth from sharp tooth surfaces that can cause lasting damage.
- Mouthguards stop jawbone fractures
A mouthguard protects against possible jaw fractures. A direct hit to the head which causes your teeth to hit together can put pressure on jawbones which results in breaks or fractures. The mouthguard acts as padding, saving your jaw from fractures that require surgery.
While it isn’t a fashionable accessory, wearing a mouthguard will help prevent painful and costly injuries sustained from playing sports.
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