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Don’t Forget the Mouth Guard

Mouthguards in Sports: A Necessary Piece of Equipment

Youth and adolescent sports participation has grown steadily over the years. It is estimated that 20 to 25 million youths participate in competitive sports. As a result of this growth in participation levels, incidence of injury has also increased. Some have reported sports to account for approximately 36% of all unintentional injuries to children and adolescents. Of those injuries, 10-20% of all sports related injuries are maxillofacial injuries according to the American Dental Association.

The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety reports dental injuries as the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports participation. They contend that an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard.

Often times these injuries will result in permanent damage to oral structures which require medical intervention.

Prevention of Dental Injuries

Dental injuries are easily prevented. It has been suggested that a properly fitted custom mouth guard may reduce the rate of concussion as well as dental injuries.

Some experts recommend that mouthguards be worn by athletes in competitive and recreational sports in which impact, contact and collision are likely to occur.

The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouthguards for the following sports:

Acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling.

Other experts include baseball and softball infielders on that list. They further recommend the mouthguard to be worn during all practices and competition.

Selecting a Mouthguarddental injury

There are three types of mouthguards:

  • Ready-made or stock mouthguard
  • Mouth-formed “boil and bite” mouthguard
  • Custom-made mouthguard made by a dentist

These mouth guards vary in price and comfort, yet all provide some protection. According to the American Dental Association, the most effective mouth guard should be comfortable, resistant to tearing, and resilient. A mouth guard should fit properly, be durable, easily cleaned, and not restrict speech or breathing.

It is important to remember damaged teeth do not grow back.  Protect that perfect smile – wear a mouthguard.

Call Ballard Family Dentistry today to schedule a free consultation to find out which mouthguard is the best fit for you!  817-385-7183

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