The popular high school football season is nearly upon us, and that means it’s time to think about mouthguards. There are more reasons to wear a mouthguard besides not wanting a smile like a hockey player! Although football is a popular sport to use mouthguards, a mouthguard should be used in any contact sport to protect the teeth and the supporting structures.
The obvious purpose is to protect the teeth. A proper fitting mouthguard also protects the jaw joint, neck, and the teeth upon impact by providing a cushion effect that absorbs the impact. It can also protect the soft tissue from injury as well. It can even reduce the chance of a sports-related concussion. The NFL has done a good job in raising public awareness of the risks of concussions.
It’s not just football athletes that should be wearing a mouthguard. Basketball, hockey, volleyball, and soccer athletes should also wear one. A mouthguard should be part of the necessary sports equipment for kids and adults in any sport where there is a chance of contact with the face or head. Remember that orthodontics (braces) can pose even more of an injury risk for the lips and soft tissue.
There are three types of sports mouthguards available. The least expensive are available at a sporting goods store that you can either wear off the shelf (stock tray) or a boil and bite that you can slightly customize the fit. Both tend to be bulky and as a result can make it difficult to breathe. A custom sports mouthguard can be made by a dentist. Custom impressions are taken and one is made specifically for you. Orthodontics (braces) can also pose a challenge when getting an over-the-counter mouthguard to fit comfortably.
Call our office if you have questions about sports mouthguards. We want to help you protect those pearly whites!