The Importance of Mouthguards in Sports
If you play contact sports, it’s recommended that you wear protective gear. We always remember to grab our helmet, shin guards, and elbow pads…but what about a mouthguard?
Orofacial injuries are extremely common in people who participate in sports such as basketball, baseball, boxing, horseback riding, gymnastics, surfing, and hockey. 10-39 percent of dental injuries in children are due to sports related accidents. The National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries estimates that during a single season of play, athletes have a 10% chance of sustaining an injury to the face or mouth. The two front teeth are the most commonly injured.
The best form of protection for our mouth during sports participation is a custom fitted mouthguard. Many of our patients ask if they can just use the mouthguards available at Target or Big 5. These mouthguards, known as “boil and bite” guards, are inexpensive but do not offer the same amount of protection as a custom fitted mouth guard made by a dentist. Stock mouth guards are available for purchase as well, but their ill fit and bulkiness makes breathing and talking difficult.
The Academy for Sports Dentistry (ASD), American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend the use of properly fitted mouthguards in any sport that carries the risk of facial injuries. One small little mouth guard can protect against painful and traumatic injury.
When we make sports guards in our office, we pressure form them to a model of your teeth. This allows for consistent shock absorption and force distribution across all your teeth…thus, more protection! It’s also a lot more comfortable for you to wear when playing sports. The last thing you need is one more uncomfortable piece of protective equipment to wear.
Our comprehensive patients who participate in contact or team sports receive a free dental guard in their team colors with their number on it (if you have a jersey number!). Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!
- Newsome P, Tran D, Cooke M. The role of the mouthguard in the prevention of sports-related dental injuries: A review. Int J Paediatr Dent 2001;11(6):396-404.
- Aaronson, H. (2017). Physics of Protection - Athletic Mouthguards. Decisions in Dentistry, 3(7), 24-27.
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry . Policy on Prevention of Sports-related Orofacial Injuries 37(6).