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Why Use a Mouth Guard When Playing Sports?

February 02, 2016 | Posted in Dental Health, Dental Emergency | Be the first one to comment

Originally Published October 28, 2015

As a parent of a child who plays a sport, or an adult who plays in a recreational league have you ever wondered about the effectiveness of mouth guards?

Does a mouth guard really provide protection?

Accidents can happen during any physical activity. The advantage of using a mouth guard during sports is that it can help limit the risk of mouth-related injuries to the lips, tongue, and soft tissues of the mouth. Mouth guards also help prevent chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, or even tooth loss. 

Should a player take a blow to the chin causing the teeth to slam together, it’s possible for this force to be transmitted to the brain, and if violent enough could lead to a concussion. A mouth guard can help reduce the chance of a concussion by cushioning the force of the teeth slamming together.

Two types of dental mouth guards are available

Boil and bite mouth guards, available for $15 to $40, are adequate for most participants in recreational sports with little or no contact. 

However, as the level of competition and contact increases, custom-made mouth guards will increase the protection of one's teeth and jaw. A custom-made mouth guard is particularly valuable in sports like martial arts, rugby, football, basketball, soccer and hockey.  In fact, mouth guards are becoming increasingly mandatory for hockey and ringette at all levels in most communities throughout Canada. 

Hockey Canada states:

Although the face mask does prevent dental injuries, it is still recommended that all players who play hockey wear an internal mouth guard. Dental injuries still occur despite the use of a face mask. Properly fitted mouth guards have been shown to significantly reduce dental and oral injuries in hockey. 

Custom-made mouth guards are sized, fit and provided by our dental office. Two short visits are required.

During the first visit, an impression of the athlete’s mouth is completed by one of the dentists in our office. Colours for the mouth guard are chosen at this time. Most of our patients choose to have their mouth guards made to match their team colours.

The impression is sent to a dental lab where the custom mouth guard is made.

About 10 days after the first visit the athlete returns to our office to have the mouth guard adjusted for comfort and fit.

Having the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ve provided the best protection available makes it possible to really enjoy the game.

If you have questions about custom-made mouth guards or wish to schedule an appointment for a fitting call our office at 514-484-0521.

Cheers,
 
Dr. John

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