Chances are, a child in your family probably participates in some sports activity, either in team sports, or simply riding a bike. Over two million teeth are knocked out every year in the U.S., largely during sports activities. Wearing a mouthguard could have prevented many of these incidents. Accidents can happen while participating in sports; however, Jason Widner DMD Family Dentistry can help reduce your chances of dental injuries by helping you choose the proper mouthguard.
What is a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a removable soft plastic appliance that normally covers the top teeth and protects teeth from injury during athletic activities. Mouthguards are most effective when our professionals take an impression of the user’s teeth, and custom fabrice the guard, resulting in a better and more comfortable fit for the athlete.
How Does a Mouthguard Work?
A mouthguard can absorb and deflect the force of a blow to the face and mouth area. According to The National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries, dental injuries are the most common injury sustained during sports participation. A mouthguard can help prevent serious injuries such as concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, unconsciousness incidents, jaw fractures, and neck injuries, by helping avoid situations where the lower jaw makes forceful contact with the upper jaw. It also provides a barrier between your teeth and the soft tissue in and around your mouth.
What Sports Should I Wear a Mouthguard to Play?
Mouthguards are essential for most contact sports, but they should also be used for other activities where injuries could occur. It makes sense that participants in high-contact sports like football and hockey should wear mouth or face protection. However, mouthguards should be used during any activity where physical contact or risk of a fall is possible. Examples include: skiing, horseback riding, rugby, wrestling, handball, volleyball, bike riding, racquetball, martial arts, soccer, baseball, skateboarding, softball, gymnastics, tennis, and basketball.
Why Do I Need a Mouthguard?
Mouthguards are needed in so many ways because about one-third of traumatic injuries to teeth are sports related. The Sports Medicine Association reports that 50 percent of children experience some form of dental injury.
Given the likelihood of a sports-related mouth injury, a mouthguard is essential. A mouthguard helps to absorb the shock of a blow to the face and reduces the chance of injury.
Injuries like these can result in time off work or school, can be painful, and may involve lengthy and expensive dental treatment. Think of the cost of a custom-fitted mouthguard as an insurance policy against mouth injuries.
How Long Does a Mouthguard Last?
You should have your mouthguard checked every 12 months by our professionals to make sure that it still fits correctly and hasn’t been damaged. Children especially should have their mouthguards checked regularly as new adult teeth come through. Bring it along to your regular dental check up to have it looked at.
Sports-related injuries are inevitable. Wearing a sports mouthguard can be instrumental in preventing many of the injuries resulting from blows to the head, face, and jawbone. For more information, and to find out how you and your child can benefit from a mouthguard, call Jason Widner DMD Family Dentistry at 425-868-0123 today.