You already know it’s important to protect your teeth when you play sports, but do you know why it’s better to invest in a professionally fitted guard made by your dentist? There are several significant reasons why a custom fitted mouth guard is more effective than an over the counter guard, and could mean the difference when it comes to saving your smile.
They can help prevent concussions.
The unique fabrication and design of a professional mouth guard made by a dentist can help prevent concussions during an athletic related accident. That’s right, not only do they protect your teeth, they also protect the rest of you! That’s because their design prevents the jawbone from being able to force itself further into the skull if an accident occurs.
They won’t come out during an accident, preventing secondary trauma.
A loosely fitted stock guard can fall out during a punch or hit, and when the athlete falls to the ground or has a secondary trauma just a fraction of a second later, they can still suffer from damage. The secure fit of a custom guard will keep it in place until you physically remove it on purpose.
They’re more comfortable to wear (and you’ll keep them in the whole time.)
How many times have you seen athletes taking out their guards because they’re too bulky to talk with, drink water, or they’re just annoying to wear? A professionally fitted guard is securely molded to the teeth, making it easier to breathe, rehydrate, and even talk to your teammates without ever having to take it out.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates
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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