Don’t Play Sports Without a Mouth Guard

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If it’s one thing dentists love more than teeth, it’s sports. Well, that’s not necessarily true (though it might be in some cases). One thing your dentist in Kitchener does love, though, is the opportunity to help people with dental needs outside the clinic and in the real world where they live, work and play. Hockey rinks, football fields, basketball courts and lacrosse fields are all great places to do just that.

Why are we such big sports fans? First, because we know the teeth-related risks associated with playing many sports and we want to convey them to you. Even more than that, though, because a dental clinic near you can help to protect children from those risks quickly and relatively inexpensively by providing customized sports mouth guards. Mouth guards protect children from preventable injuries. Here are all the details you need to be aware of to understand the risks and how to eliminate them.

How do they work

Sports mouth guards from a dental clinic near you are thick plastic devices that fit over an athlete’s teeth. They act as shock absorbers while inserting an impact barrier between the child’s jaws and protecting your teeth from collisions with elbows, to pucks, to sticks, goalposts and more.

Dental injuries are some of the most common injuries sustained on playing surfaces across Ontario annually. Children who wear mouth guards from a dentist in Kitchener are saved from countless preventable and painful injuries requiring complex and expensive dental treatment to resolve. Many sports leagues have made wearing mouth guards mandatory for many age groups, but that doesn’t mean that they should ever be optional. Even when not required by the rules, the staff at a dental clinic near you believe that they’re clearly justified by common sense.

Who should wear a mouth guard?

Athletes who participate in sports that pose a risk of injuries that could affect their lips, tongue, face, teeth and jaw should wear a mouth guard. Some high contact sports that pose a risk for those kinds of injuries are obvious — sports like hockey, football, rugby and lacrosse. Other less obviously high-impact or less popular sports such as baseball and softball, soccer, martial arts, wrestling and boxing, and even volleyball and basketball should receive the same protection offered by customized sports mouth guards.

Mouth guards help reduce risks of chipped and broken teeth, dislodged teeth, damage to tooth roots and nerves, cuts and bruises inside an athlete’s mouth, damage to prior dental work that would have to be replaced and even concussions.

Are mouth guards all the same?

You can purchase mouth guards in many different formats, including off-the-shelf and ready to wear units and boil-and-bite DIY mouthguards. Off-the-shelf guards fit no one particularly well except by sheer luck and, thus, offer little protection. Boil-and-bite options are molded to your teeth to offer a greater level of protection but are much more easily torn than a mouth guard obtained from a dental clinic near you.

You can get the most complete and durable protection from a mouth guard custom-made for your athlete based on impressions taken by an orthodontist or dentist in Kitchener. That orthodontist or dentist will take your child’s particular circumstances into account when preparing the mouth guard, including things like whether he or she wears braces.

In a perfect world, sports-related oral injuries would be eliminated altogether. While we live in the real world, though, we have an opportunity to minimize the risks of healthy recreational and competitive sports as simply as by wearing a custom mouth guard. To arrange for a mouth guard near you to protect your mouth or that of an athlete in your family, contact a dentist’s office near you.