April is National Facial Protection Month: Guard your teeth and gums against sports injuries! As spring begins and athletes and spectators fill our fields, tracks, and gyms, many student athletes will wisely take precautions against concussions. We urge all sports participants not only to participate in concussion prevention programs, but also to wear a mouthguard. It is a simple step that can prevent pain and permanent damage to teeth and gums as well as avoid the cost of restoring broken teeth or performing dental implants or root canals if teeth are knocked out or nerves are damaged. Mouthguards are effective The evidence for the use of mouthguards is compelling. Athletes who do not wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to experience dental injuries than those who wear this simple but important protective device, according to the American Dental Association. For children and teens, the facts are especially striking. Sports accidents account for 10-39 percent of all dental injuries in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Perhaps surprising to many people is the fact that baseball and basketball have the highest incidence of dental injuries in children ages seven to 17. While some team sports require players to wear mouthguards, many do not. Even when well-intentioned parents buy their children mouthguards, all too often they find them at the bottom of the gym bag amidst complaints that they are uncomfortable or make talking or breathing difficult. All sports mouthguards are not created equal
While wearing any mouthguard is better than wearing none at all, some types provide more comfort and a better fit than others, making them more likely to be worn. The least expensive mouthguards are “stock” guards that are one-size-fits-all and come ready to wear. They are often bulky and make talking and breathing hard. Many sporting goods stores sell “boil and bite” mouthguards that can be boiled and then pushed up against the upper teeth to mold it. While these mouthguards cost a little more, they often offer a slightly better fit. The third type of mouthguard is the “custom-fit” which is individually made to fit each person’s mouth. They provide a customized fit and offer the most comfortable protection for people with braces. If you have questions about mouth guards, let us know so we can help you find the type that will work best for you. Fortunately, most people would no longer ride a bike or ski down a mountain without a helmet. It is up to each of us to be sure we protect our teeth and gums as well as we protect our skulls.
To get a custom-fit sports mouthguard or for more information, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-237-9071.
Image credit: http://bairdorthodontics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/poor-fitting-mouthguard.jpg http://www.dentalartslab.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/PROFORM-SPORTS-MOUTHGUARDS-HEADER-IMAGE.jpg