Did you know that 39% of all dental injuries occur while playing sports?
Protect Your Teeth While Playing Sports
Types of Mouthguards Available
Sports mouthguards vary regarding cost, comfort, and effectiveness. An ideal mouthguard is durable, resilient, and comfortable. It should fit properly, be easy to clean, and should not affect your ability to breathe.
Here are the basic categories of sports mouthguards on the market:
Stock mouth guards (complimentary with orthodontic treatment)
Boil-and-bite sports mouthguards
Custom-made sports mouthguards, designed and fit in our dental office
Less expensive sports store-bought mouthguards can initially make you feel as though you’re protected from impact when in fact their protection is rather limited.
The most common sports-related dental injuries include broken teeth, knocked-out teeth, injured cheeks or tongue and even broken jaws.
At Midpark Dental, we advise all participants of sporting activities, regardless of age or ability level, to wear a mouthguard during participation to prevent dental emergencies.
Learn More About Your Sports Mouth Guard Options
To learn more about the options for sports night guards we offer in our Southeast Calgary dental office, request a consultation.
Maintaining An Effective Sports Mouthguard
The following are some questions you can ask to help determine if your sports mouthguard is effective:
Does the mouthguard offer sufficient protection and thickness in key areas?
Is the mouthpiece not overly bulky?
Does it fit comfortably?
Does it allow for natural breathing?
Is it tear-resistant?
Does it retain its form?
Is it odourless and tasteless?
Common, off-the-shelf mouthguards that are available in sporting goods stores may not meet any of these criteria—even if they are brand new! Also, once they have been used for a while by the athlete, and they are chewed out of their regular shape, this condition makes them even worse and offers even less protection. Despite this, over 90% of the mouth guards worn by athletes have been purchased at sporting goods stores.
Boil & Bite mouthguards do have the potential to fit better. However, the actual fitting process itself has a downside. When biting into the hot mouthguard when it is malleable, the thickness of the mouthguard can be reduced and with it so is the level of protection provided.
How Mouthguards Protect Against Dental Injury
Sports mouthguards are dental appliances that fit over your teeth while you’re engaged in your sporting activity. If you are then struck in the mouth or jaw, the sports mouthguard helps to redistribute the force of that impact.
A mouthguard also provides a barrier between your teeth and the soft tissue in and around your mouth. Many studies have shown that mouth guards help prevent chipped or broken teeth and protect against cuts to lips, gums, and other soft tissue in the mouth area.
Why You Should Wear A Sports Mouthguard
Although dental injuries are commonly associated generally with contact sports, such as football, rugby, hockey, and boxing, other dental and mouth injuries may also occur as a result of accidental contact with people or objects during other athletic activities, including skateboarding, basketball, soccer, squash, gymnastics, and Taekwon-Do. In essence, you need to be aware that all sports activities contain some element of risk that could result in a dental injury.
At Midpark Dental we always recommend that anyone who participates in athletic activities should protect their smile with a high-quality, proper fitting sports mouthguard. A properly fitted sports mouthguard absorbs the shock of impacts. The mouthguard also protects teeth against potential chips, cracks, fractures, knock-out, and damage. A properly fitted sports mouthguard is an important equipment investment, especially when considering the cost of the potential dental work required to repair damaged teeth.
For people who have to wear braces or other fixed orthodontic appliances, it is especially important to have a sports mouthguard that fits them properly. An impact to the mouth can damage the brackets and wires of the braces, and can also cause added cuts and tears to the soft tissue inside your mouth.