Mouth Guards - They’re not just a hockey thing

April 18, 2015 - Dental Tips

Traumas to the mouth are always difficult, and not always necessarily because of the actual injury, but because it also means a visit to the dentist. One of the most upsetting things to a parent (and to the child) is an accidental injury in which a child's tooth is chipped or knocked loose.

Such injuries are often preventable if a properly fined mouth guard is worn. Although mouth guards are not mandatory equipment in all sports, their worth is indisputable.

As dentists we see too many oral and facial injuries to children and adolescents that might have been prevented by the use of a mouth guard. Even adults are not immune to the dangers of mouth injuries. Dentists treat many trauma injuries in weekend athletes. Fact is, facial injuries in nearly every sport can result in damage to your teeth, lips, cheeks or tongue.

So, whatever your age or sporting interests, mouth guards are an important part of sports safety and should be a part of every athlete's gear, because they cushion blows to the face and neck that could otherwise result in injury.

We urge parents to do everything they can to protect their family's smiles and preserve the oral health of children and teens by seeing a dentist for custom made mouth guards.

A mouth guard is especially important if a person wears fixed dental appliances such as braces or bridgework. Custom made mouth guards are professionally designed by the dentist from acast model of the individual's teeth.

Because they are designed to cover all back teeth and cushion the entire jaw, they can prevent concussions caused by blows to the chin. They fit securely in the mouth and do not interfere with speech or breathing.

Although inexpensive, ready made commercial mouth guards made of rubber or polyvinyl can be purchased at many sporting goods stores, they are the least effective in affording protection.

Whether the sport of choice is hockey, skiing, snow boarding, skating, baseball, racquet ball, roller blading, skate boarding, cycling, football, or even tennis; it's better to play it safe than face a devastating and painful oral injury.

Remember to keep your mouth guard in top shape by rinsing it with water or mouth wash after each use, and allowing it to air dry. With proper care, it should last the length of the season or longer.