Are you or your child involved in sports? Even if you’re not playing hockey or football, your extracurricular activity or athletic hobby could be one that’s at a high risk of dental and orofacial injuries. Like cycling, gymnastics, soccer, softball, or basketball.
If you think of your sport as something that’s independent — without the risk of others bumping into you — being active means a higher risk of injuries. And summer months tend to be the worst when it comes to dental emergencies! Fortunately, there’s an effective and easy way to protect yourself: wearing an athletic mouthguard.
Wearing a custom fitted mouthguard can help you lower your chances of dental emergencies like:
- Knocked out teeth
- Chipped tooth enamel
- Lip, cheek, and tongue lacerations
- Broken bones and bleeding
A professionally designed mouthguard offers better protection than the types of stock trays you can buy in the store. Firstly, they fit snuggly and stay where you need them to. There’s not much of a risk of your sports guard slipping out of place if you’re about to experience a secondary injury after the initial fall or hit. But with an over-the-counter tray, there’s a high chance of the mouthguard coming out in the middle of the injury. The only way to protect yourself from each bump, hit, or elbow to the mouth is to have a fitted sports guard that stays in place when you need it to.
The custom fit also makes your appliance more comfortable to wear. That way you can keep it in for the entire game or activity (even when you’re talking or hydrating!) Stock guards – not so much. They’re bulky, loose, and get in the way when you’re trying to communicate. A lot of people find themselves taking their one-size mouthguard out because it’s just too cumbersome to wear. Professionally fitted trays wrap closely around each individual tooth, but a semi-fitted generic guard isn’t able to do that.
Even if a stock guard protects just a small amount, a fitted mouthguard will work far better.
Do They Really Help with Concussions?
Studies do support the claim that custom mouthguards made by a dentist can lower your chances of a traumatic brain injury (concussion.) It works by having a unique buffer between your upper and lower jaw, preventing your mandible (lower jaw) from being forced back into the base of your skull, shaking the brain during a blow to the head. Although not completely foolproof, wearing a professional athletic guard with your other regulated sports equipment is one of the best ways to be proactive about limiting concussions.
If you know someone who has ever had a concussion, you know how scary it can be. Some individuals don’t realize they’ve suffered a brain injury until a day or two after the initial injury. So if you have someone in your family that’s involved in contact sports and you want the best level of protection, getting a mouthguard made by our Mesa dentist is one of the smartest investments you can make in their safety.
Lower Your Chances of a Major Dental Injury
Dental emergencies like knocked-out and broken teeth can be scary and painful. But when you’re wearing a sports mouthguard, you’re far less likely to experience such an injury in the first place. Instead of being almost certain to suffer a fractured tooth when you have a blow to the mouth, a sports mouthguard can buffer some of the pressure and make it less likely to disrupt the tooth structure.
It’s like having insurance on your teeth! The modest investment you make in getting a mouthguard made can save you hundreds — if not thousands — of possible dental and medical bills from an athletic injury. In some cases, your sports guard might even be covered by your dental insurance. Our patient coordinators can look into your coverage to find out if it’s a benefit include in your plan. But even if it isn’t, investing in a mouthguard is just a fraction of the cost it would be to repair multiple broken teeth.
How do I Get Mine?
If you need a dental sports mouthguard for yourself, teen, or child, start by calling Eastport Dental in Mesa. We can work you in for a quick visit, take an impression of your teeth, and get started on your appliance right away. Usually it’s ready within two weeks or less and we can even choose a color to match your team jersey. Contact us today to schedule!