Mouthguards Are Your Sport’s Real MVP
Do you or your kids participate in sports like football, gymnastics, basketball, hockey, or martial arts? And do you make sure that both you and your children wear mouthguards while tackling, skating, or sparring? If not, then this article is for you. Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental wants to make sure you are educated on the importance of mouthguards for the health and safety of your teeth and smile.
The Case For Mouthguards
The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety has reported that the most common facial injuries in sports are dental injuries. In fact, you are over sixty times more likely to sustain oral damage when not wearing mouth protection. Mouthguards protect against broken and chipped teeth, split lips, tongue wounds, neck strain, jaw fractures or joint injuries, and other facial trauma. There’s even evidence that they help prevent concussions.
If those stats alone don’t convince you that a mouthguard is an important piece of safety equipment, read on for three of the most common excuses against wearing one, and see how easily they can be negated.
Excuse #1: Mouthguards Don’t Look Cool
If you or your child’s argument against wearing a mouth protector is because of its low-threshold cool factor, imagine how goofy you or they will look with a chipped or altogether missing front tooth. Not only does that take time and lots of money to fix, but it’s also much more painful to endure than powering through any perceived shame of wearing mouth protection for an hour of sports practice. Split lips aren’t a walk in the park, and biting your tongue is definitely no joke. The regret of not wearing a mouthguard is exceedingly higher than the regret of wearing one because you think it makes your face look weird.
Excuse #2: But My Sport Doesn’t Require Me To Wear One
Mouthguards are not as widely used as they should be in sports and recreational activities simply because they are not required. But just because a mouthguard isn’t required for participation doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be worn.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that custom mouth protection is worn for the following activities:
Hockey (ice, field, roller, etc.)
Knitting (just kidding.)
The fact that mouthguards aren’t required to be worn in most sports is due to a lack of awareness of just how necessary they are for your face’s protection and safety.
Excuse #3: Mouthguards Are Expensive
Not really, especially when you compare the cost of a simple mouthguard to the cost of restorative dental procedures. Mouth protectors come in a variety of price ranges. You can find them in drug stores and sporting goods stores for anywhere from $5 to $50. These prices will net you a stock mouthguard at the low end, which is economical in dollars but inefficient because if it doesn’t fit it can result in discomfort, which is a safety issue and well as painful.
At the higher end of the over-the-counter spectrum is the “boil and bite” mouthguard, which is just what it sounds like. You boil the mouthguard until it becomes soft, wait for it to cool, then bite down to form a better-fitting shape for your teeth.
The problem with both of these options is that they may not fit right, which can lead to them falling out or becoming painful to wear. They also impede with speaking and breathing.
The American Dental Association (ADA) requires a proper a mouthguard to be form-fitting, easy to clean, durable, resistant to tearing, and that it does not interfere with either your speech or breathing.
This is where your Wurzbach Parkway Family dentist comes in. They can build you a custom-fitting mouthguard that conforms with all of the ADA’s safety requirements to meet their Seal of Acceptance. Your dentist will make sure that your mouthguard is comfortable and secure, and in some cases, they can even be created with your favorite color or design!
When it comes to protecting your teeth, the mouthguard is an athlete’s best friend. If you would like to come in for your own custom mouthguard, or if you have any further questions about types and prices of mouth protectors, you can always reach us here. We’d be glad to help.