Mouth guards can help protect you or your child athlete’s teeth during sporting activities. Not only do guards protect teeth from fracturing or other trauma, they may also prevent concussions as well as facial lacerations related to the teeth.
The use of guards is becoming a requirement in many organized sports for athletes to participate. The American Dental Association suggests that oral mouth guards be worn during all contact sports. It does not take contact with another person to cause a tooth related injury. Some sports that are not contact related may also be appropriate to wear guards, such as biking, skateboarding, snowboarding and gymnastics. Even if the guard is not required, wearing one can greatly protect an athlete from injury related to an accident. The guard should be worn at all times including warm-ups and practice sessions. The American Academy of Pediatric dentistry estimated that nearly 90% of sports injuries that are related to the head also affect the top front teeth.
Not all mouth guards are created equal. Many over the counter guards are available for generic use during sports, but because they fit poorly many athletes tend to take them out during their activities. If an injury does occur, the guard can come out and will not prevent a follow up traumatic event in the same episode. Custom-made mouth guards at your dentist will fit snugly against each individual tooth and stay in place should an injury occur. In some cases, professionally made mouth guards can absorb up to 400% more energy than generic guards. This plays a key role in the prevention of concussions. Growing children will need to have their guards changed out periodically as new teeth begin to develop and erupt into the mouth.
Posted on the behalf of Springhill Dental Health Center
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