Get The Right Mouthguard For Your Teeth
- May 16, 2016
Summer is nearly here, and fall is close behind. Many sports are in full swing or will be underway soon.
Now is also a great time to get a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard for the athletes in your family. Mouthguards are an invaluable piece of safety equipment for anyone who participates in high-impact sports.
The best place to get these mouthguards if you live in or near Boca Raton is the office of orthodontic specialist Robert A. Eckelson. He can create a personalized mouthguard for you or any member of your family.
What Is A High-Impact Sport?
Everyone would agree that contact sports such as football, hockey, wrestling, or other sports would be considered high-impact sports. In most of those activities, athletic mouthguards are considered mandatory pieces of equipment.
Contact is not the only way to define what is or is not a “high-impact” activity, however. In sports medicine, high impact sports involve frequent wear or trauma on weight-bearing joints.
This includes a lot of things. Basketball, lacrosse, soccer, and volleyball would be considered high-impact sports under this definition. The same could be said for gymnastics and cheerleading.
The impacts on your joints don’t stop with your feet and knees. Your body is an interconnected system. Quick changes of directions and repeated landings after jumping can cause movement of your jaw as well.
This can cause your teeth to collide with one another. Wearing a mouthguard — like wearing a seat belt — can minimize the effect of impact. This is true for direct impacts (such as a boxer getting hit in the face) or indirect impacts from running and jumping.
Why Mouthguards Are Important?
The American Association of Pediatric Dentists issued a statement on sports-related orofacial injuries in 1991. That statement has been revised multiple times to reflect new information and a better understanding regarding dental sports injuries.
According to their most recent statement, sports accidents account for up to 39 percent of all children’s dental injuries.
A majority of dental sports injuries affect the front teeth. Wearing any mouthguard can reduce the risk of dental injuries. However, the AAPD identified custom-fitted mouthguards as the most effective type of athletic mouthguard.
This kind of mouthguard is often the most comfortable for the wearer, and these have been shown to be better at protecting teeth as well. We can create one for you or your children in our office.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are the second-best option while stock mouthguards are the third choice.
The customized mouthguard may be more expensive than the other styles, however, they are considerably less expensive than repairing a broken tooth or replacing a tooth that was knocked out.
What If You Have Braces?
Wearing a mouthguard is important for patients who are wearing braces, too.
As you know, a collision, fall, or impact with a ball or other piece of sports equipment could cause your wires to bend or break or one or more of your brackets to come loose.
This is a case in which Dr. Eckelson recommends the boil-and-bite style instead of a custom-fitted mouthguard. He also advises against boiling it as long as you are undergoing treatment. This is because your teeth are constantly shifting during your orthodontic care.
Care And Maintenance
When you get your mouthguard, it is important that you care for it properly.
First, do not chew on your mouthguard. This can damage the structure and reduce its effectiveness.
Second, clean your mouthguard. You should rinse it after each use. You will want to scrub it occasionally as well.
Third, store the mouthguard in its case. This will protect it when you are transporting it between games and practices.
Last but not least, replace your mouthguard when it has become worn out. Mouthguards will not last forever, and you should replace them as needed.
When Dr. Eckelson, was a dental student at The Ohio State University, he worked with the school’s football team. He understands the importance of protecting your teeth during athletic competition.
You can have a mouthguard made in your favorite color or your school colors. However, the most important things are that your mouthguard keeps your top and bottom teeth separated and that the mouthguard has a protective layer between your teeth and gums.
To learn more or to get fitted for an athletic mouthguard, call 561-235-3100 or fill out our online form.
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