A “Must” for Any Playing Field
Shin guards? Check. Shoulder pads? Check. Helmet? Check. Cleats? Check. Mouth guard? Just a second – it must be around here somewhere!
Does your child play on any type of athletic team? Well, if the sport just happens to be football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, ice hockey, field hockey, rugby or even gymnastics – a mouth guard should be a standard piece if equipment!
“Awww, Mom – Do I Have to Wear a Mouth Guard?”
Not only should anyone engaged in one of these sports wear a mouth guard, for many of them, it’s a requirement! Believe it or not, sports-related injuries are three times more likely to cause facial/dental injuries than acts of violence or even traffic accidents!
Young children, in particular, frequently suffer damaged or displaced teeth, fractured jaws, and lip lacerations from braces and other teeth when participating in sports. Mouth guards also protect against concussions and neck injuries because they serve as “shock absorbers.” The impact of any blow to the face or mouth is evenly distributed over all the teeth and there is less of a chance that the upper and lower jaws will come into contact with one another.
What Type of Mouth Guard Works Best?
There are a number of different types of mouth guards available:
- Stock mouth guards – found in most pharmacies and sporting goods stores. While they may be inexpensive, they don’t provide a “custom” fit, which reduces their effectiveness. They also can be uncomfortable, making it difficult to speak or even breathe properly.
- Mouth-formed or “boil and bite” mouth guards – used by more than 90 percent of athletes who use mouth guards. These are softened in water and then placed in the mouth to conform to its shape. While they provide a better fit than the stock variety, they can become loose after several wearings.
- Custom-made mouth guards – available at a dental office – these are a bit more expensive, but well worth it if an athlete suffers an injury that could potentially cost more in mouth repairs! These are made to fit snugly and comfortably because they are custom fitted to the athlete’s teeth and mouth.
Let’s face it, a lot of injuries are sports-related and one of the best ways to prevent many of them is by using a custom-made mouth guard. Give a participating dentist near you a call and let the dentist fit a mouth guard for your athlete to offer the best protection against injury in many contact sports.