Sports Dentistry: Mouth Protectors in Sports
Athletes: Don’t forget to use a mouthguard – it’s the best way to protect your smile : )
A mouthguard worn while playing contact sports including football has been shown to prevent injury to teeth. Many athletes are unfamiliar with the different types of mouthguards available. Anyone participating in a contact or collision sport could benefit from a properly fitted and properly worn mouthguard. Participants in an individual sport, such as rollerblading, which puts the athlete at risk, should use a mouthguard. A properly fitted and properly worn mouthguard shouldn’t interfere with an athlete performing any sport at the highest level.
At the appointment a mold will be taken of the athlete’s upper teeth and a clear mouthguard will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. The appliance will be ready for delivery within a week. The player will need to return to the dental clinic to pick up the mouthguard and ensure its proper fit. You can be creative and use your team colors for a colorful mouthguard.
As a team member of the AFI or WAFI you are eligible for a special reduction in the cost of a custom made mouthguard.
Did you know…
- 50 to 80 percent of all dental injuries involve the front teeth of the upper jaw.
- The most common injuries to permanent teeth occur secondary to falls, followed by traffic accidents, violence and sports.
- Every person should wear a mouth protector while participating in any activity with a risk of falls, collisions or contact with hard surfaces or equipment. This includes sports such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, wrestling and gymnastics, as well as leisure activities such as skateboarding, skating and bicycling.
- Consequences of traumatic injuries for children/adults and their families are substantial because of the potential for pain, psychological effects and economic implications.
- The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation in 2005 estimated the cost to treat and provide follow up care for a permanent tooth that was knocked out is between $5,000 and $20,000 over a lifetime.
- A mouthguard not only protects the teeth but may reduce the force of blows that can cause concussions, neck injuries and jaw fractures.
- There are 3 types of mouthguards: preformed (purchased at a store and held in place by clenching the teeth), mouth-formed (also known as “boil and bite”) and custom-fabricated. Our practice recommends a custom fabricated mouthguard.