At our North Arlington dental practice, we always love hearing about the different activities that our patients enjoy. We’re proud to call many athletes, artists, hikers, and musicians patients of ours. And of all of these different types of patients, we seem to see our athletes most often, as they’re more likely to incur dental accidents.
Because we’re enthusiastic about our patients making the most out of their activities, we’re committed to keeping everyone healthy and safe from dental accidents. At Smile Design Specialist, we custom make sports mouthguards for our athletes in an effort to prevent them from sustaining injuries to their teeth.
Mouthguards and Safety
An estimated 13% of all dental injuries occur during sporting activities. Chipping your tooth on a basketball, dislodging one during a touchdown….there’s plenty of ways to hurt your teeth while playing sports.
So, think you can head out to the nearest drugstore, buy the cheapest mouth guard on the shelf, and call it a day?
To ensure the maximum degree of safety, we strongly suggest visiting a dentist like Dr. Richard Ekstein to get the right mouthguard for you.
Who Needs a Mouthguard?
Everyone who plays a contact sport needs a mouthguard. Most high school districts require mouthguards for football, ice hockey, field hockey, and lacrosse. But baseball and basketball are the sports with the highest incidence of dental injuries, so think twice before heading out on the field or the court without one.
In fact, the American Dental Association recommends mouthguards for 29 sports! From gymnastics to surfing, if there’s any risk of injuring your teeth while participating in a sporting activity, you should think about getting a mouthguard.
Mouthguards are effective because they provide a buffer between the teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue and potential damage. Athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are about 60 times more likely to incur a dental injury, leading to painful, inconvenient, and expensive dental work in the years to come.
Choosing the Right Mouthguard
Not all mouthguards are treated equal. There are currently three types of sports mouthguards available:
- Stock – Stock mouthguards are the cheapest option available because they offer no customization. While economical, they offer very little protection and can make it difficult to breathe or speak.
- Boil-and-Bite – Boil-and-Bite mouthguards are made of a special plastic that becomes malleable when boiled. After boiling, users bite down on the soft plastic and allow the mouthguard to form to the teeth.
- Custom-fit – Custom-fit mouthguards offer the most protection, precision, and comfort. Users must get them from a dentist, who takes an impression of your teeth and then creates a perfectly fitted guard.
Using Your Mouthguard
To ensure that your teeth are protected, wear your mouthguard during all sporting events, including practices, scrimmages, and games. After using, clean the device with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Occasionally, clean your mouthguard with soap and water. Never leave it in direct sunlight and always keep it in its case.
Keeping Healthy On and Off the Field
By knowing which activities pose a risk to your teeth, you can take measures to prevent yourself from getting injured. Know when to use a mouthguard—it may save you from losing a tooth! If you have any questions or want to make an appointment for selecting a mouthguard of your own, give us a call. We look forward to working with you!