Playing sports is an integral part of life. It teaches coordination, helps improve balance, encourages teamwork, and is good for your health. However, sports can also have an adverse effect on your health. This is especially true if you don’t take the proper steps to protect your body. Hence, one wears kneepads, shin guards, helmets, and other equipment. But while you are protecting your extremities, don’t forget your teeth!  Sports mouthguards are an essential piece of gear, right along with your other protective equipment.

Wearing a mouthguard helps cushion any blows to the face, minimizes the risk of broken teeth, and protects against injuries to the lips, tongue, face, and jaw. Mouthguards cover your tongue, lips, and cheek lining soft tissues. This is because these parts of the mouth protect the teeth.

How A Sports Mouthguard Protects Your Teeth

  • Sports mouthguardProtects Against Fractures – Some fractures can cause pain and damage to the teeth and jaw, resulting in a need for surgery. Even the simplest mouthguard can defend against this.
  • Minimizes Risk of Concussions – Yes, helmets will protect your head from brain injuries. But a mouthguard absorbs the shock while minimizing the jaw’s movement.
  • Avoids Root Damage – When teeth are jarred or shifted, it damages the roots. Damaged roots restrict blood flow to the tooth and can cause the tooth to die. Then, the bacteria from a dead tooth can spread to the rest of the mouth, gumline, or jawbone. Having a custom-fit mouthguard while playing sports.
  • Prevents Knocked-Out Teeth – A full-force head or face hit can result in broken, cracked, or chipped teeth. This can lead to an assortment of cosmetic dental work. And even if the tooth is not knocked out completely, it can shift enough that misalignment occurs, increasing the need for braces or bridgework.
  • Protects Your Braces – A well-fitting mouthguard will protect your mouth from cuts by metal braces. It also prevents bent wires or brackets from coming off.

Types of Mouthguards

  1. Custom-made – Made specifically by your dentist for your mouth. This type of sports mouthguard will usually cost more than other types, but they will be the most comfortable and offer the best protection.
  2. Boil and Bite – Available at most pharmacies and big box stores, these mouthguards are the middle ground for their price point and protection. As the name implies, one purchases these guards and then places them in boiling water. As per the instructions, one then bites into the softened guard. This creates an impression of the teeth and gumline. Because they fit the contours of your teeth and gums, they offer protection against blows, falling, and other injurious actions. When buying a boil and bite mouthguard, always look for the ADA seal approval to be sure it is a reliable option.
  3. Stock – These are inexpensive guards available at sports stores, pharmacies, and other venues. They are pre-formed guards and rarely fit your mouth well enough to offer sufficient protection. Another negative is that they can make breathing and talking difficult. But they are better than nothing at all.

You don’t need to give up playing sports, but you should take action to protect your teeth. Talk to the Meadowview Family Dentistry team to learn what type of mouthguard will best suit your needs. We can help you determine what is best for you based on your sport and level of activity. Talk to us today.