choosing the right mouthguard

Safeguard Your Smile: Tips for Choosing the Right Mouthguard During National Fitness And Sports Month!

May is not just a time to wrap up the school year and welcome warmer weather; it’s also a significant period as we observe National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. This month is not only about celebrating sports and physical fitness but also about understanding the crucial link between sports and dental health.

As we prepare to lace up our sneakers and engage in outdoor activities, it’s crucial to remember that sports participation can lead to dental injuries. Let’s examine how sports and dental health are interconnected and explore some valuable tips for maintaining a healthy smile while actively participating in sports and physical activities.

The Link Between Sports and Dental Injuries

Sports participation is a source of immense joy and offers numerous health benefits, from improving cardiovascular health to boosting mood. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential health risks, including dental injuries.

Whether it’s a collision with another player, a stray ball, or a fall, sports-related accidents can lead to chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth and cuts to the lips, gums, and cheeks. These oral injuries can be severe and may require costly dental treatments.

dental injury without mouthguard

Research consistently demonstrates that athletes engaged in contact sports like football, soccer, and wrestling face a substantially heightened risk of sustaining dental injuries, such as tooth fractures and dislocations, if they do not wear protective mouthguards.

Athletes who do not wear mouthguards are reported to be up to 60 times more likely to suffer dental injuries to their teeth and mouths while engaging in physical activities and contact sports, highlighting the importance of protecting one’s oral health and maintaining a healthy smile.
Hence, wearing a mouthguard is not optional but a necessity, especially for athletes participating in contact sports.

By selecting the right mouthguard, individuals can feel reassured and safe, knowing they are taking the necessary steps to protect their dental health during sports and physical activities.

Choosing the Right Mouthguard For You!

One tool that stands out when preventing sports-related dental injuries is mouthguards. These custom or over-the-counter devices act as cushions, absorbing and dispersing the force of impact to reduce the risk of dental trauma. But with so many options available, how do you choose the right one?

Toothless kid smiling. Little boy Show Broken teeth

Considerations for choosing the right mouthguard:

1. Regarding mouthguards, there are two main types: boil-and-bite and custom-fit. Boil-and-bite mouthguards you can buy at your local Academy or Dicks Sporting Goods stores, and shape to your teeth after soaking them in hot water. These mouthguards provide significantly more protection than not wearing one at all.

Alternatively, custom-fit mouthguards crafted by your dentist provide the highest level of oral protection. Your dentist can tailor them to fit your mouth’s specific shape and size.

2. Material: Mouthguards are made of various materials, including silicone, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), and polyurethane. While all these materials offer some level of protection, EVA mouthguards are often recommended for their durability and shock absorption properties.

3. Comfort and Fit: A well-fitted mouthguard should feel comfortable and snug without impeding speech or breathing. It should cover all teeth and remain securely in place during sports activities. Ensuring that the mouthguard fits properly and adequately protects the sport being played is crucial.

Pro Tip: A properly fitted mouthguard is not just a piece of equipment; it’s your oral shield against dental trauma. It absorbs and distributes the forces produced by impacts on the face, significantly lowering the likelihood of dental injuries.

Without the protection of a well-fitted mouthguard, athletes are more susceptible to injuries that can result in costly dental treatments and potential long-term oral health issues.

Three-year old boy shows myofunctional trainer. Helps equalize the growing teeth and correct bite, develop mouth breathing habit. Corrects the position of the tongue

4. Age and Activity Level: When choosing a mouthguard, consider the wearer’s age and the intensity of the sport. Younger athletes’ mouths are still growing and changing, so they may require more frequent replacements than older athletes.

5. Maintenance: Proper care and maintenance are essential to prolonging the life of your mouthguard. But don’t worry, it’s easy! Simply rinse it with cool water after each use, brush it with a toothbrush and toothpaste, and store it in a ventilated container to prevent bacterial growth. By following these simple steps, you can feel confident and capable of maintaining your mouthguard.

During National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, it’s important to focus on maintaining our physical health while being mindful of our dental well-being.

Whether you’re on the soccer pitch, basketball court, or football field, always remember to take precautions to protect your teeth and overall oral health. Use mouthguards and other protective gear to safeguard your smiles while engaging in sports activities.

Wearing the right mouthguard during your sports activities can significantly reduce your risk of dental injuries and keep your smile bright and healthy for years to come!

Portrait of male rugby player wearing mouthguard white holding rugby ball

For the highest level of oral protection, seek professional assistance from your dentist and obtain a custom-fitted mouthguard to minimize the risk of injury during physical activity.

If you want more information about obtaining a properly fitted mouthguard to reduce your risk of dental injury to yourself or a child, contact our dental office and schedule an appointment.

We’d be delighted to assist you! In the meantime, check out the link for the colors and types of mouthguards we can tailor-make for you!

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