With hockey season winding down and the Flyers entering the playoffs, we thought it would be fun to take a closer look at why athletes that play contact sports are required to wear mouth guards by many sports governing boards. Surely it isn’t a fashion statement, so why are mouth guards so important? And should you or your child be wearing one when playing sports?
According to a 2007 study on the American Dental Associations website, “the overall injury risk was found to be 1.6-1.9 times greater when a mouthguard was not worn, relative to when mouthguards were used during athletic activity.” While most of us aren’t at risk for getting hit in the mouth with a puck shot by an NHL superstar or taking a hit from an NFL linebacker, mouthguards are still an important part of contact sports for players of any age and skill level.
A mouthguard helps to protect teeth from the impact of a hit by providing a barrier between the hitting force and the teeth. Mouthguards can be custom-made by a dentist, or bought commercially. A store-bought mouthguard can easily be boiled and then bitten down on by the person who will be wearing the mouthguard to get a tight fit. A good mouthguard should fit well, allow for proper salivation and breathing, and be easy to clean between uses. Mouthguards should be replaced when they show visible signs of wear and tear that may compromise their effectiveness.
A mouthguard can be the difference between losing a few teeth and keeping your smile in tact, so any athlete that plays a sport that involves some level of contact should arm their teeth with a protective mouthguard. If you have questions about mouthguards, or want to inquire about custom mouthguards, feel free to contact a DentaLux professional today!