Play Safer With A Custom-Fitted Mouthguard | Boca Raton, FL
- December 1, 2015
Football season is winding down. As you put up your helmets, shoulder pad, and other protective gear, there is one piece of equipment that you may want to keep for your winter sports — an athletic mouthguard.
Mouthguards should be considered an essential piece of protective equipment for all high impact sports. That includes contact sports and a lot of other sports as well.
Wearing a mouthguard can protect your teeth from minor injuries, and it may protect you from tooth loss in more serious sports accidents.
At the dentist office of Robert A. Eckelson, DDS, PA, we know from experience how valuable a sports mouthguard can be to give your teeth intact no matter how hard you play.
Your coach has probably told you to leave everything on the field or the court, but we all know that he or she that doesn’t mean your teeth.
Take it from someone who knows
Dr. Eckelson previously served as the team dentist for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. From that experience, he learned the importance of athletic mouthguards and what a mouthpiece needs to be effective.
First, your sports mouthguard should have material between your upper and lower teeth. Second, you need material between your teeth and your cheeks.
He also learned the value of wearing a custom-fitted mouthpiece. This is particularly helpful for athletes who need to be able to speak while they are competing.
Protect your teeth
Football players have been using mouthguards for decades. In nearly every league at every level of the sport, mouthpieces are considered a mandatory part of the uniform.
That’s true for other contact sports, like hockey and lacrosse, too.
Combat sports (like boxing and mixed martial arts) are another example of high impact sports, but a sport doesn’t have to involve lots of contact to be considered high impact. Any sports that involves frequent starts and stops while running or lots of jumping should be considered high impact.
To reinforce that point, the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has recommended that athletes in all high impact sports should wear mouthguards. More specifically, the ADA council recommends custom-fitted athletic mouthguards.
The winter high school sports season includes several examples of high impact sports —basketball, soccer, wrestling, and competitive cheerleading. All of these sports involve added strain on your joints, and that can affect your teeth and jaw as well.
We know sports are a great way and a good reason to stay in shape. We hope you continue to play the sports you love, but we strongly encourage you to protect your teeth at the same time.
Why custom-fitted mouthguards are better
We’ll state right up front that wearing any mouthguard that separates your teeth and has material between your teeth and gums is better than nothing.
The ADA reported on its public education site, mouthhealthy.org, that researchers have determined that high impact athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are up to 60 times more likely to have a dental injury than athletes who do.
We hope this illustrates how big a risk you are taking if you choose to play sports without a mouthpiece. For children, an oral injury can affect the alignment of their teeth or their jaw as they are still developing.
While we have mentioned high school and youth athletes already, they aren’t the only ones who should be wearing mouthguards.
Many adults continue playing sports in recreational leagues long after their high school or collegiate careers have ended. You may not run as fast or jump as high as an NBA player, but your teeth will still feel the impact of an accidental elbow or getting hit in the face with the ball.
For most athletes, a custom-fitted mouthguard is the way to go. They fit better and more comfortably, which makes you more likely to wear them during practices and games.
These mouthguards can be made in a variety of ways to suit your needs. We can make thicker or thinner mouthpieces depending on your sport and your personal preference.
We can make a mouthguard to match your team colors or in your favorite color to reflect your personal style.
The most important thing is that you make the effort to protect your mouth and your teeth. A sore jaw isn’t pleasant, but it’s better than having a sore jaw along with broken or missing teeth.
Get fitted today, save your teeth tomorrow
If you haven’t already done so, come talk to Robert A. Eckelson, DDS, PA, in Boca Raton about the importance of an athletic mouthguard. We will be happy discuss what is the best option for you.
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