The Importance of Wearing a Mouthguard When Playing Sports
Do you play sport and if so, do you wear a mouthguard? If not, you need to keep on reading to learn about the importance of mouthguards in protecting your teeth.
If you or your child plays a contact sport then you should definitely invest in a mouthguard. Our teeth are strong and sharp and are designed to be able to cut and grind food with ease.
However, they are not immune to damage and a clash of heads or a stray elbow or knee to the face could lead to your teeth becoming cracked or chipped or worse still, knocked out.
Even if the blow does not damage your teeth, it could make you bite through your lip, which is still unpleasant!
How a Mouthguard Protects You
Mouthguards protect your teeth and gums from damage. If you’re wearing braces, then the mouthguard will help to reduce the risk of impact to the face damaging the braces (or the braces hurting the soft tissue in your mouth).
Mouthguards essentially spread the force of any impact to the head.
Some studies even suggest that wearing a custom-fit mouthguard when playing high school football can reduce the risk of sports-related concussion because the mouthguard spreads the force from any impacts to the head.
These findings are new and further studies are needed to confirm these benefits, however, the other benefits are clear and long-established, so this is just one more thing in a long list of reasons to wear a mouthguard.
Mouthguards act as a shock absorber, protecting the teeth by stopping them from crashing into each other, and also protecting your gums. They greatly reduce the risk of chipped or broken teeth, tooth loss, and nerve damage.
The Value of A Properly Fitted Mouthguard
There are three types of mouthguard. The cheapest are simple hard plastic gumshields. These are uncomfortable to wear and offer the least protection.
A poorly fitting mouth protector provides very little protection and in some ways could do more harm than good by providing a false sense of security.
The next option is the boil and bite mouthguard with ‘fins’ to provide a better fit. These offer slightly better protection and can be a good option for someone who needs a ‘spare’ mouthguard.
However, these are still mostly a “one size fits most” option, and it is easy to make mistakes when fitting the mouthguard. Boil and bite protective devices tend to be thicker and heavier, and aren’t always comfortable.
Dentist-fit mouthguard are usually lighter and more comfortable since they are designed expressly for your jaw. A dentist or dental technician will take a mould of your teeth and use this to make a custom-fit mouthguard that fits over your teeth perfectly.
These offer the best protection and are also comfortable enough that you can eat or drink while wearing them, breathe normally, and generally feel comfortable.
Safer Sport For All
One recent study of high school athletes found that 75% of oral injuries occurred when the participant was not wearing a mouthguard. Aussie Rules and Rugby were among the sports where head/oral injuries were common.
Of those surveyed, nine per cent of the athletes had suffered some kind of injury to the mouth or teeth, and three per cent had suffered a concussion. More than half of all concussions occurred when a mouthguard was not being worn.
These statistics make it clear. Mouthguards are essential for your dental health and safety. If you or your child dislikes wearing mouthguards because they are uncomfortable, we recommend you talk to your dentist about lightweight mouthguards.
While it is necessary to wear a full-thickness mouthguard in some sports, for others a thinner mouthguard will offer sufficient protection while being far more comfortable.
Cracked and damaged teeth are painful and expensive, so it makes sense to take proper precautions when playing sports.
Are you searching for a reliable dental clinic in Taylors Lakes Australia for advice on mouthguards? If so, then look no further than Gardens Dental.
Gardens Dental offers a full array of dental services in Taylors Lakes and Caroline Springs to help you and your family maintain healthy teeth.
To learn more about our services or make an appointment, please contact us today on (03) 9449 2626 or through our website.