Mouthguards – 5 Reasons They are Essential for Sports

Young person playing sports wearing a mouthguard

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If you or your child participates in sports, it’s important to take steps to prevent injuries. One essential piece of safety equipment is a mouthguard. This article will cover the top five reasons why mouthguards are critical for protecting your teeth and preventing injuries during sports activities.

Prevent Dental Injuries.

One of the main reasons why mouthguards are essential for sports safety is to prevent dental injuries. Sports like football, basketball, and hockey involve a lot of physical contact, which can lead to accidental hits to the mouth. Without a mouthguard, a blow to the face can cause broken or knocked-out teeth, and cuts to the lips and tongue. A mouthguard acts as a cushion, absorbing the impact and protecting the teeth and soft tissues in the mouth.

Protect Against Jaw Fractures.

In addition to protecting teeth and soft tissues, mouthguards help prevent jaw fractures. A hard impact to the face can cause the jaw to break, which can be a painful and severe injury. A mouthguard helps distribute the force of the impact, reducing the risk of a fracture. It also helps keep the jaw in place, preventing it from moving too much and causing further damage. Overall, wearing a mouthguard is essential in preventing dental and facial injuries during sports activities.

Improve Breathing and Oxygen Flow.

Another benefit of wearing a mouthguard during sports activities is improved breathing and oxygen flow. Mouthguards are designed to fit snugly over the teeth and gums, which can help keep the airway open and prevent breathing difficulties. Preventing breathing challenges is especially important for athletes who participate in high-intensity sports that require a lot of physical exertion. By improving breathing and oxygen flow, mouthguards can help athletes perform better and reduce the risk of fatigue and exhaustion.

Increase Confidence and Performance.

Wearing a mouthguard can also increase an athlete’s confidence and performance on the field or court. Knowing that their teeth and mouth are protected can give athletes the peace of mind to focus on their game and perform at their best. Additionally, mouthguards can help reduce the risk of injuries, boosting an athlete’s confidence and allowing them to play more aggressively without fear of getting hurt. Wearing a mouthguard can help athletes feel more confident and perform at their highest level.

Mouthguards for Children

The American Association of Orthodontists collected data for an independent survey about mouthguards, and this is what they found:

Ninety-nine percent of parents whose children play organized sports felt youth should be required to wear mouthguards to play.

Yet 37 percent of parents said their child never wears a

mouthguard while playing sports – in games, practices, and recreational play.

“The reality is that many teeth are knocked out each year due to sports-related injuries,” says Nahid Maleki, DDS, MS, president of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).

Mouthguards for Adults

Wearing a mouthguard applies to adults playing sports too. They are essential to your safety gear, even if you play non-contact sports like volleyball, tennis, etc. Having a tooth knocked out is bad just as much, if not more, as an adult. By wearing a mouthguard, you are potentially saving yourself thousands of dollars and a lot of pain.

The Three Basic Types of Mouthguards

Choosing the right mouthguard is essential. There are three basic types of mouthguards:

  • The pre-made mouthguard.
  • The “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard.
  • A custom-made mouthguard from your orthodontist.

When choosing a mouthguard, be sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, comfortable, well-fitted for your mouth, easy to keep clean, and doesn’t prevent you from breathing properly.

Pre-made mouthguards and boil-and-bite mouthguards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores; while your orthodontist specially designs custom-made mouthguards to provide optimal protection against mouth injuries.

Final Words

If you wear braces or a retainer, you must wear a mouthguard during contact sports. Dr. Erickson can show you how to wear a mouthguard properly and how to choose the right mouthguard to protect your smile. Contact us now to come in and see the doctor about your mouthguard.

Your Friendly Team
Orthodontic Specialists

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