The new school year is off and running! And with the school year comes one particularly exciting extracurricular activity: school sports. During sports seasons, it is imperative to maintain the safety of the athletes throughout the season. While the importance of wearing padding such as helmets and shoulder pads is often stressed, now is the time to stress a very important piece of padding that many often disregard: mouthguards.
Dental Injuries Can Be Avoided with a Mouthguard
Dental injuries are often seen as one of the most common injuries sustained in sports. The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety reports that an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain a mouth injury while not wearing a protective mouthguard. Common oral injuries that can be prevented by using mouthguards include:
- Tooth Fractures – classified as a root fracture, broken or chipped tooth
- Avulsion – entire tooth, including root, knocked out
- Luxation – tooth moved from original location
And even the severeness of concussions can be reduced when using a mouthguard. Biting on a mouthguard can reduce the pressure on your skull during a collision.
SEE: How Often Should I Have a Dental Exam and Cleaning?
Which Sport Causes the Most Mouth Injuries?
What youth sports do you believe have the most mouth injuries? If you answered football or hockey, you would be wrong! The use of mouthguards in youth and high school football, lacrosse and ice hockey has been mandatory since the early 1970’s. These sports have seen a dramatic decline in mouth injuries since. Instead, studies show that the majority of mouth injuries occur during sports such as basketball, soccer and baseball which seem to be far behind in oral injury protection. Protect your teeth to avoid devastating oral injuries.
SEE ALSO: How to Safely Pull Out a Loose Tooth
Selecting the Right Mouthguard
Generally there are three types of mouthguards:
- Custom-made mouthguards – made by a dentist
- Mouth formed – “boil & bite” mouthguards
- Stock mouthguards – typically found in drug stores
While these mouthguards vary in price and comfort, all provide protection for your teeth and mouth. While picking a mouthguard, you should look for one that is comfortable, durable, easy to clean and doesn’t impair breathing or speech.
SEE ALSO: Back-to-School Snacks for Healthy Teeth
Keep your Athlete’s Teeth Strong by Visiting Duffield Dentistry
Whether you may be looking for a custom mouthguard, an appointment for a checkup or just a quick question about oral hygiene, Dr. Larry Duffield and the staff here at Duffield Dentistry will be happy to assist you with all of your needs. Contact us by phone at 877-630-7410 and schedule an appointment today!