Mouthguards: Why Mouthguards Are Important for All Sports

by Jason 8/27/2013 8:00 AM

Mouthguards are highly recommended by dentists for people who indulge in sports or activities that are physical in nature. Both children and adults who play games like baseball, basketball, cricket, hockey, rugby or practice contact sports like karate or judo can protect their teeth by using mouthguards. In fact, wearing a mouthguard is recommended by dentists for all kinds of sports and physical activities.

Possible injuries during sports

Injuries like scratches and minor wounds are easy to treat and bear. However, oral injuries may be more serious in nature and require medical intervention.

  • The player may have severe injury of the jaw or jaw dislocation, which requires surgery and hospitalization for a month. Moreover, surgery involves general anesthesia and the jaws need to be wired together to keep them shut in order to aid the healing process.
  • It is common to have teeth loosened or knocked out during sports. The affected teeth need to be re-implanted or false teeth need to be used. These procedures require frequent visits to the dentist
  • For players who wear braces, injuries could lead to lacerations inside the mouth. 

The need for mouthguards

Mouthguards can provide ample protection from sports-related injuries to the teeth, mouth, jaws and surrounding areas. They help to prevent any kind of dislocation of jaw joints and protect the teeth from being knocked out.

Types of mouthguards

There are three main types of mouthguards - custom-made, boil and bite, and stock. A custom-made mouthguard provides better fitting and protection as it is made-to-order according to size. Boil and bite is like a semi-custom model in which hot water softens the plastic for better fitting. Stock mouthguards come in three sizes- small, medium and large- and are quite inexpensive.   

It is important to change mouthguards from time to time in order to maintain the protection they provide to the mouth area. Along with frequent replacement, mouthguards need to be sanitized before wearing. Talk to your dentist about the best mouthguard for you.

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