Your Teeth & Mouth Are Worth Protecting
- November 26, 2015
Football season is winding down for high schools across Connecticut. Our local athletes gave their best on the field, and now they are preparing to try just as hard during the winter sports, including basketball, hockey, gymnastics, and wrestling.
That also means it would be a good time to get fitted for an athletic mouthguards.
Mouthguards may seem obvious for contacts sports, but we recommend them for other high impact sports as well.
We know you can get a mouthguard online or at any sporting goods store, but the best protection for your teeth comes from a custom-fitted mouthguard.
That’s why we would be glad to create on of these protective guards for your son or daughter’s teeth at Gentle Dental Care in Plainville.
What is a high impact sport?
You may be wondering what is considered a “high impact” sport.
This includes more than you may realize at first. High impact sports certainly include sports in which collisions are a big part of the game. Football, ice hockey, and rugby would be some obvious examples.
Combat sports like wrestling, boxing, karate, and mixed martial arts would be another type of high impact sport.
The third type of high impact sports includes games in which the participants make frequent or intense impacts on their weight-bearing joints (knees, ankles). In other words, sports that involve lots of running and jumping. This means basketball and gymnastics, too.
The American Dental Association recommends mouthguards for athletes who participate in any of these sports along with several others.
Protective equipment has become standard in many sports (helmets and pads), and many leagues requires mouthguards as well.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has evaluated studies on the effects of mouthguards. To summarize their findings, athletes who do not wear protective guards are more likely to damage their teeth.
Researchers found that athletes who did not wear mouthguards were 1.6 to 1.9 times more likely to have dental injuries.
Mouthguards — and custom-fitted mouthguards, in particular — help by spreading out the effect of big impacts. This reduces injuries to the wearer’s teeth and the soft tissues (cheeks, gums, and tongue) in his or her mouth.
Getting your mouthguard
You can get a custom-fitted mouthguard, like those recommended by the ADA Science Council, at Gentle Dental Care.
We can customize your mouthguard in multiple ways. The first of which is by designing the guard to fit your mouth and teeth.
The second way we can customize your mouthguard is by designing one that fits your comfort level and the demands of your particular sport. This could mean a rigid or a softer mouthguard, or it could mean adjusting the thickness of the guard to suit your needs.
Of course, there’s one more way to give you mouthguard a personal touch. With modern technology, we can make your mouthguard in a number of colors to match your personality or to show you team pride.
The most important thing is that by wearing the guard, you will be taking steps to reduce your risk of injury. Just like brushing and flossing your teeth daily are important in preventing plaque buildup in your mouth, wearing a protective mouthguard can prevent a more serious injury to your teeth.
Take care of your mouthguard
Getting a custom-fitted mouthguard is great, but only if you use it correctly.
Take some time to review these tips from the Journal of the American Dental Association about the proper way to care for your athletic mouthguard.
- Rinse your mouthguard, then clean it with a toothbrush after each use.
- Use cool, soapy water to clean your mouthguard occasionally.
- Store your mouthguard in a vented container when you are not using it.
- Keep your mouthguard out of hot places.
- Examine your mouthguard regularly. With time it will wear out, and it should be replaced.
- Take out retainers or other removable dental appliances while you are wearing your mouthguard.
- Wear your mouthguard at all times during practices and during games.
- Do not chew on or cut off pieces of your mouthguard. Damaging your mouthguard will make it less effective.
- Bring your mouthguard to the dentist office when you come for your regular cleanings and exams.
Plan your appointment today
We have focused most of our attention on younger athletes, but mouthguards are important for weekend warriors and recreational athletes as well. You might not be playing as fast or jumping as high as collegiate or professional athletes, but the impact can be just as jarring on teeth.
Before your next season begins, plan a visit to Gentle Dental Care in Plainville to get fitted for your custom-fitted mouthguard. Call 860-479-2397 or use our online form to schedule your appointment.