What’s the most important piece of protective sports equipment? A lot of people would say a helmet. That answer’s not wrong since helmets stop sports players from undergoing serious and deadly head injuries. However, for contact sports, mouth guards can be just as important to an athlete’s safety as a helmet.
Roughly 40% of all sports trauma happens inside the facial area, which includes various forms of dental trauma. Dentists and athletic coaches realize the importance of suitable safety equipment and the gravity of facial trauma, which is why they are so adamant about mouthguards.
Just like a helmet, mouthguards have to be fitted in order for them to prevent injury. A former president of the Academy of Sports Dentistry, Emilio Canal Jr., DDS, says, “Mouth guards are protective safety equipment in sports, so they need to be properly fitted. It’s no different than a helmet…You’re not going to give a football player a helmet that’s five times bigger than what he needs, because he’s going to run around and it will be moving all over the place. If he gets hit, it’s not going to protect him.”
There are 3 different types of mouth guards:
Stock mouth guards can be found in most sporting goods stores and pharmacies. However, dentists do not advise using this type of mouth guard because they offer very little protection. Furthermore, one cannot alter the fit, which makes it hard to talk and breathe.
Boil and bite mouth guards work exactly as they sound. By boiling the thermoplastic material in water, these mouth guards can be shaped to better fit the athlete’s particular bite. These kinds of mouth guards can also be found in sporting goods stores.
Custom-fitted mouth guards are the variety of mouth guard dentists recommend because they’re crafted individually to fit the athlete. A dentist makes a mold and then sends the mold to a lab where the mouth guard is created.
As we dive headfirst into the warmer months, always be sure that you and your loved ones are sporting the proper protective equipment. The following are a few of the most typical dental traumas related to sports injuries. Consult with Dr. Sulken or Dr. Kinn about the various kinds of mouth guards and ask which one you should use. That way, you can avoid these problems.
• Crown fractures
• TMJ dislocation
• Missing teeth