Sports Mouth Guards
Playing sports can be a wonderful experience for athletes of any age. It is a fantastic cardiovascular workout, it allows for a feeling of accomplishment (and for team sports, camaraderie), and there is nothing quite like winning the big game or tournament to make someone feel good about themselves. However, despite all of these advantages of playing sports, it is not entirely without risk.
Even the most careful person can sustain a serious injury while playing sports, which is why having the proper protective equipment is essential to prevent damage to you. It is important to not overlook a mouth guard as a vital piece of your sporting equipment. We here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry strongly recommend that all athletes in contact sports use a custom mouth guard to help protect themselves while playing their sport of choice.
Why You Need a Custom Sport Mouth Guard
We have come a long way in protecting our athletes when playing sports, but still many people overlook mouth guards as an essential piece of equipment while practicing their sport. Of course, helmets and shin guards are also important, but mouth guards can help prevent a wide variety of injuries that can occur during sports. Some of the more common types of sports injuries that a mouth guard can help protect you from include chipped or broken teeth, tooth avulsion (loss of the tooth), bone fractures, and even concussions.
It is also important to note that team sports are not the only ones that need a mouth guard. Of course, sports like football and hockey require a mouth guard, but did you know that roller-skating, tennis, and gymnastics also need mouth guards to protect your teeth and jaw? Any sport that exposes you to flying sports equipment or your teammates needs a mouth guard.
What Types of Mouth Guards are There?
There are three main types of mouth guards that a patient may hear about when looking into getting one. The most basic type is called a stock mouth guard. These are the type that you can find in any big-box store. We strongly advise that you stay away from this type of mouth guard. They are often poorly fitting and will not protect your mouth while you are playing sports. They may impair your ability to play, as they are cumbersome in your mouth and may make it harder to breathe.
Some patients are tempted by boil-and-bite mouth guards that they may encounter at a sporting goods store. These provide a semblance of customization by allowing you to boil them, and as their name suggests, and bite into them while they are still warm to help get an impression of your teeth. Again, stay away from these. While it may be tempting to purchase one, they will not give you the protection that your mouth needs.
Instead, we advise that you come to our office for a fitting for a custom mouth guard. These will give you superior protection from the many sports injuries that you may encounter while playing your favorite sport. We will make it by taking an impression of your mouth and using that impression of your mouth to create your mouth guard. We will ensure that it is a good fit before we dispense it to you. These can last up to a year, but if you start to notice any damage to it, you will need to replace it with us to ensure your safety.
Mouth guards are critical components of any sporting gear. To learn more about them, or to set up an appointment with us here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry, please give us a call today at (803) 310-4707!