You might be surprised to learn that one of the most common sports injuries is damaged teeth. This is not a laughing matter as such injuries often come with hefty medical bills. Fortunately, there is an easy way to make sure that your teeth remain protected while you give it your best on the field or in the arena – using mouthguards. These allow you to engage in professional sporting activities without concerns about severe dental damage.
Mouthguards are known as thick plastic protective devices that are shaped similarly to a dental tray to form to the shape of your mouth, gums and teeth. They create a barrier between the lower and upper teeth to prevent them from crashing together upon impact. Likewise, your teeth can be protected from incoming objects such as a ball, stick or puck. Many professional athletes are required to wear mouthguards, especially if they are involved in high-impact sports.
Common dental injuries that can be prevented by mouthguards
The pertinence of wearing these guards can never be overstated. Here are some of the potential injuries a mouthguard can prevent:
• Fractured jaw
• Injuries to cheeks and lips
• Injury to the tongue
• Damage to the root of your tooth
• Damage to dental work such as bridgework or crowns
• Broken or chipped tooth
That’s not all; it has been found that mouthguards can reduce the rate of concussions as well. The prevention of concussions comes with great importance as this particular injury has the potential to cause a lasting negative health impact on the athlete’s health.
Available types of mouthguards
• Boil and bite: These types of mouthguards can be bought off the shelf, and are popular as they are relatively inexpensive. They provide a closer fit to the wearer’s mouth, and can be purchased from a dentist and most sporting good stores. To use them, you will have to place them in boiling water for a brief period before putting them into your mouth while they are still pliable. Once in place, they should be held there until cooled. These mouthguards typically last for only a few sports seasons due to their flexible nature.
• Stock: These are the least expensive option you can purchase, but they are the least protective too. The guards come pre-formed and are ready-to-use right out from the package. Some of these mouthguards can come in a variety of flavors too like bubblegum and fruit punch (all without the actual sugar)! As they are not customized to individuals mouth, they can sometimes be ill-fitting. The person may also need to clench the guard with their teeth to hold it in place.
• Custom-fit: Dentists highly recommend these mouthguards, and they can only be made in a dental office. As they are custom-fit, these are the best candidates regarding durability, protection, and optimal comfort. The mouthguard will also be made from a material that is specified by your dentist to ensure it suits your individual needs for your sporting activities.
Whether you are an athlete in the world of wrestling, boxing, rugby, martial arts or lacrosse, a mouthguard is always an excellent solution to ensure your dental health and safety.