Just like wearing a helmet or shoulder pads, mouth guards are an essential piece of equipment in contact sports. They should be worn by athletes of all ages who participate in sports such as:
Youth and adolescent sports participation has grown steadily over the years. It is estimated that 20 to 25 million youths participate in competitive sports. As a result of this growth in participation levels, incidence of injury has also increased. Some have reported sports to account for approximately 36% of all unintentional injuries to children and adolescents. Of those injuries, 10-20% of all sports related injuries are maxillofacial injuries according to the American Dental Association.
The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety reports dental injuries as the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports participation. They contend that an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard. Often times these injuries will result in permanent damage to oral structures which require medical intervention.
Types of Dental Injuries
Injuries to the teeth can be grouped in three different categories with care specific to each type.
– can be classified as a root fracture, broken tooth or chipped tooth
– if possible, stabilize portion of tooth still in mouth by gently biting on towel to control bleeding
– athlete and tooth fragments should be transported immediately to a dentist
– best methods of transport of the tooth are in Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution, milk, saline soaked gauze, or under the athlete’s tongue
– entire tooth, including root, knocked out
– do not handle tooth by the root (tooth should be handled by the crown)
– do not brush, scrub, or sterilize tooth
– if tooth is dirty, gently rinse with water
– if possible, place tooth back in socket and have athlete gently bite down on towel
– if unable to reimplant tooth, transport tooth with the athlete as described above to the dentist immediately
– tooth in socket, but in wrong position
– Extruded Tooth – tooth appears longer than surrounding teeth
– Lateral Displacement – tooth pushed back or pulled forward
Wearing a mouth guard helps prevent against structural damage to your teeth and jaw and also helps prevent injuries such as lacerations to your cheeks, tongue, and lips. It is also believed that Mouth guards could possibly help decrease the risk of concussions.
Mouth guards are available in most any sporting goods store, but you should be careful when purchasing a mouth guard. Mouth guards like this do not offer the best level of protection. They are also usually ill-fitting and uncomfortable.
For the highest level of comfort and protection, you should visit your dentist for a custom mouth guard fitting. A custom mouth guard is created specifically for the optimal protection of YOUR mouth. It is created with thin plastic that is hardened to protect your teeth. The thinness of the custom mouth guard allows for easy breathing and also allows for easy communication (especially important for you star quarterbacks calling out the signals). Ask us about our custom mouth guards that protect your teeth.
Call Today for Your Appointment at 704-510-1150!