Sports mouthguards are proven to prevent injury during contact sports.  Just how many? According to a study of high school football players conducted by the American Dental Association, mouthguards prevented approximately 200,000 injuries in a single year.

Which sports are considered “contact” sports?

A wide range of sports can lead to dental injuries.  While some sports have a higher incidence of dental injuries, any sport where a fall is possible, could lead to a dental injury.  Sports such as hockey, lacrosse, boxing and football feature direct contact, but sports such as basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, biking or skateboarding – and others – can all be considered as potentials for dental injury.

When do injuries tend to happen?

Don’t assume that most dental injuries happen only during games.  A study done by “Safe Kids Worldwide,” found that 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries happen during a practice.  Armed with this knowledge, coaches and parents need to remind children to wear sports mouthguards whether playing or practicing.

Consequences of knocked-out teeth

Knocked out teeth can sometimes be saved and replanted if emergency dental attention is received.  Read more about saving a knocked out tooth.  Lost teeth come with a high price tag, including potentially thousands of dollars per tooth and several hours in the dentist’s chair.

Types of mouth guards

Sports store brand mouth guards are easy to find and relatively cheap, however, poor fit and little resistance to wear-and-tear can render this type of mouthguard useless in a short period of time.

Custom made mouth guards from your dentist provide perfect fit and long lasting protection. Dentist made mouth guards are also a lot more comfortable – allowing ease when breathing and talking. In addition, an effective mouth guard will have the following attributes: it keeps its shape, fits properly, is durable and easy to clean.

Often, a mouth guard covers only the upper teeth, but your dentist may suggest a lower fitting mouth guard based on your mouth – another reason to seek professional advice for a mouthguard.

Taking care of your mouth guard

Once you have a custom made sports mouthguard, you’ll want to take care of it, so it lasts a long time.  Here are some tips for taking care of your mouth guard:

  • To clean it use an antiseptic mouth rinse or use toothpaste and a toothbrush.
  • Store your mouth guard in a firm container that allows air circulation.
  • High temperatures can cause your mouthguard to change shape – don’t place it under hot water or in direct sunlight.

Bring your mouth guard to your dental check-ups and bring any concerns about the fit or condition of the mouthguard to your dentist as soon as you notice.

Wearing a custom mouthguard is an important step in preventing dental injury for you and your family.  Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is a provider of custom made sports mouthguards in Nanaimo.  Contact us to book an appointment today!