Dental and orofacial injuries are very common in close contact sports. It's important to reduce the damage of these injuries with a well-fitting mouthguard. They reduce the shock of impact on your teeth and jaw joints and reduce the risk of lacerations or tears on the soft tissues of your face and mouth. Visit us at Schnierow Dental Care if you want to know more about our high-quality custom-fitted mouthguards.
Dental injuries can impact an athlete's quality of life and impact their ability to contest or perform at their best. In boxing, close contact is fundamental to the sport, and over the course of a boxer's career, they are exposed to repeated trauma to the face. Boxing without a mouthguard puts the boxer at risk of sustaining injuries like a broken jaw, lacerated tongue, and dislodged teeth. The American Dental Association recommends using a custom-fitted, quality mouthguard if you play any sport with a significant risk factor for cranio or orofacial injuries. If you are an athlete, athletic advisor, or parent to an athlete involved in close contact sports, it is important that you support and push forward the necessity of this protective gear.
Why You Should Wear a Mouthguard
A study by a dental journal in New Zealand used data on insurance claims for sports-related dental injuries to show that athletes ages 11-20 account for the highest percentage of sports-related dental and facial injuries, between 41% to 44%, depending on the year. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has mandated mouthguards for ice hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, football, and wrestling (for wrestlers wearing braces). Mouthguards are not mandated on a national level, however, sports organizations and teams can come up with their own mandates for the use of mouthguards.
Many Athletes Have the Wrong Idea About Mouthguards
Common misconceptions that we often hear at the office: biting down on a mouth guard reduces shock to the brain by taking off pressure or, if you are less likely to have a concussion in the sport you play then there is no need for a mouthguard. Common is the impression that the use of mouthguards is based on concussion prevention. There is no currently available research or evidence that any protective equipment will prevent concussions, headgear and other protective equipment will only reduce the risk of sustaining these injuries. Mouthguards serve the role of preventing orofacial and dental-related injuries but not in concussion prevention.
Finding a Good Sports Mouthguard
Our team at Schnierow Dental Care has come across many athletes with mixed feelings about using a mouthguard; they have one but simply forget to wear it, they degrade over time, they impair speech, or make it difficult to breathe. Dental fabrication technology has evolved significantly past the boil and bite mouthguard models that carry this bad reputation. Better models have emerged since then that can provide a more comfortable, compact fit and superior protection. Visit us if you have any concerns about a treatment plan for you or your child. Call us today at (424) 383-5005 to schedule a dental exam or for more information on sports mouth guards.