People understand the need for a football helmet to protect someone while playing contact sports. However, people may forget about the importance of mouthguards. Protecting your mouth and teeth from injury is vital as these types of injuries can cause tooth loss, permanent dental issues and disfigurement.
Bicycle injuries cause the most dental-related injuries in young children, while teenagers (particularly male) are at the highest risk of sports-associated dental injuries. In fact, baseball and basketball are the sports with the highest incidence of dental injuries for teen athletes. However, dental injuries can occur with nearly any sport or leisure activity.
Mouthguards are recommended during contact sports or any activity that has the possibility of collision. Contact sports include football, basketball, boxing, martial arts, soccer, rugby, wrestling, water polo, handball and hockey (both ice and field). Also, sports like gymnastics, baseball and softball can involve injuries to the face and mouth.
There are multiple types of mouthguards:
- Stock mouthguards
- Boil-and-bite mouthguards
- Custom mouthguards (usually made by dentists)
Today’s mouthguards come in different colors, can be made with team logos and can even be flavored.
A few important things to remember:
- Mouthguards should be kept in a case and rinsed before and after use.
- Mouthguards should be cleaned with soap and warm water periodically.
- Mouthguards can wear out and need replacement when unable to protect teeth.
- Mouthguards should be worn for both practice and games. Injuries can happen at any time.
This information in this post is for general educational purposes only and does not warrant or represent any information as related to health as specifically appropriate for you. It is not intended to be medical advice or replace the relationship that you have with your health care providers. You should always seek medical advice on any diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. The information is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.