Trauma to the mouth is one of the most common causes for dental emergencies within the United States. Any trauma that causes bleeding and/or lacerations to the gums, fractured or knocked out teeth, or any other injury to the mouth is considered to need immediate medical attention. Protecting the teeth during sports is the best method of preventing a dental emergency from occurring. Dental emergencies are scary, stressful, and expensive; teeth protection is none of these.
Those who are involved in any type of physical sport with any type of physical contact or in which equipment is used for playing need to remember that your “gear” should always include mouth protection. Whether you are a child, youth, teeth, or adult – your teeth need protection during sports.
Wear a mouth guard. During any sport that has person-to-person contact or when equipment such as bats, balls, or sticks are used – a mouth guard is a necessity. While inexpensive mouth guards can be purchased at your local drug store, your dentist can provide you with a custom mouth guard that is created specifically for your mouth. A custom mouth guard is the most ideal mouth guard because it is carefully constructed to securely fit in your mouth and protect your teeth. Typical “boil-and-bite” mouth guards (the ones purchased over the counter) are generally considered uncomfortable. While custom mouth guards are a bit more expensive, they are much more comfortable. Also, teens and adults whose mouths have fully developed will be able to use the same mouth guard for a while, as long as it is not damaged in any way.
Wear a helmet. While it is mandatory to wear a helmet when playing organized sports such as football, baseball, hockey, and lacrosse, many people forget (or neglect) to wear them when they play pick-up games. A helmet is important for so many reasons – protecting the brain, for one – and it can help to protect your mouth from trauma. Wearing a helmet that fits well is important so that it does its job well.
At Group Health Dental, we are here for all of our patients’ dental needs. Contact us today to learn more about mouth guards and how they can protect your teeth during sports.