To Protect Your Teeth, Get A Mouthguard
The annual NCAA tournament is winding down, but the college basketball postseason also gave us a reminder of why everyone should be wearing an athletic mouthguard when they take the court.
During the Big XII conference tournament, a player for Texas, Kerwin Roach, was guarding a player from Iowa State. The Iowa State player accidentally hit Roach in the mouth with an elbow … and it broke one of Roach’s teeth.
Fortunately for Roach, the team dentist for the Kansas City Chiefs football team was present and repaired his tooth at halftime. Roach did wear a mouthguard during the second half, by the way.
Many people are not aware that basketball causes the most dental injuries for athletes 13 to 17 years old. Part of the reason for that is that so few basketball players wear mouthguards.
At Hubbard & Leath Dental, we make custom-fitted athletic mouthguards for athletes at all levels as part of our family dentistry .
To get one for yourself or the aspiring athletes in your family, call us to today at 248-266-2528 to make an appointment.
Your Smile is Worth Protecting
April is National Facial Protection Month. It’s a perfect time to get an athletic mouthguard — they aren’t just for boxers and football players.
Basketball may be the sport that causes the most dental injuries for teens, but baseball players have the most dental injuries among kids 7 to 12 years old. Here in Michigan, we are well aware of the risks of playing hockey without a mouthguard, too.
You should be wearing a mouthguard for pretty much any athletic activity that involves one or more of the following:
- Changing speeds frequently
- Changing directions frequently
- Jumping frequently
- Objects (balls, pucks, etc.) flying through the air
- Physical contact between participants
This includes everything from cheerleading and lacrosse to soccer and volleyball.
Wearing a mouthguard is a small investment compared to fixing broken teeth or replacing teeth that have been knocked out.
You Deserve the Best Protection
You can walk into almost any sporting goods store or department and find “boil and bite” mouthguard. These are definitely better than nothing, but they aren’t as good as mouthguards that have been specifically molded to fit your teeth.
This is sort of like the difference between wearing a regular seatbelt and wearing a five-point harness. There’s a reason professional race car drivers use five-point harnesses. They don’t want to have accidents, but they understand that races are not normal driving conditions. Because of that, they want the best protection they can have for their own safety in case something goes wrong.
Similarly, your risk of accidents or injuries increases when you are practicing or playing a high-speed, high-impact sport like basketball, baseball, or BMX biking. When you are in those situations, you owe it to yourself to provide the best protection possible for your smile and the smiles of the people you love.
This is why the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and several other professional dental organizations recommend wearing custom-fitted mouthguards .
In addition to providing better protection, these mouthguards are better than the ones you can get in a store for other reasons. Since they are custom-made, they are smaller. As a result, they are more comfortable to wear and less likely to interfere with breathing and speaking. And that makes athletes more likely to wear them.
The “boil and bite” mouthguards are bulky. They can be uncomfortable. They can interfere with breathing, and they can make it difficult to communicate with teammates in the midst of the action.
Let Us Design Something for You
The last thing any dentist wants is for his or her patients to lose teeth. It’s why we encourage you to brush and floss daily. It’s why we encourage you to get routine professional cleanings.
It’s why we urge patients to seek treatment at the earliest signs of gum disease or tooth decay.
It’s also why we hope you will wear a mouthguard the next time you step on the court, the field, or the ice.