It’s never too early to get prepared. As they say, the best time to fix a leaky roof is on a sunny day.
While schools are out for the summer, fall sports will begin practicing soon, and winter sports will be here before you realize it.
That’s also what makes now a great time to schedule an appointment at Newingham Dental Center to get a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard.
Come in now so the athletes in your family will be ready to go when the first day of practice arrives. A properly fitting mouthguard isn’t free, but it is much less expensive than paying for treating a dental emergency.
The Right Fit Matters
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend wearing athletic mouthguards during any high-impact athletic activity.
The reasons are simple. A mouthguard will protect your child’s teeth and jaw while they are playing sports.
The AAPD noted that a 10-year study revealed that 31.8 percent of children’s oral and maxillofacial surgeries were the result of sports injuries.
We don’t want to misrepresent what athletic mouthguards can do. Like a seat belt, they won’t prevent a collision from occurring, but they can minimize the damage that results from that accident.
Wearing a mouthguard could be the difference between having a sore lip and losing a tooth. The better that mouthguard fits, the more protection it will provide.
And the more comfortable a mouthguard is, the more likely it will be worn during practices and games.
The Kinds Of Mouthguards
Any mouthguard will provide some protection, but that does not mean that all mouthguards provide the same level of protection.
The ADA and the AAPD both recommend custom-fitted mouthguards as the most effective at reducing the risk of serious oral injuries.
Here is a short overview of your mouthguard options:
- Stock mouthguard – This may be available in various sizes, but they are not customizable. This may be uncomfortable to wear, and it may not fit as well as it should around your child’s teeth.
- Boil-and-bite mouthguard — This kind of mouthguard can be found in many sporting goods stores. It is an improvement over a stock mouthguard. By boiling then biting into this mouthguard, you can mold it be better fit your mouth.
The problem is that these mouthguards tend to be bulky. This can make them uncomfortable. This also means that they may interfere with your ability to speak and breathe in the midst of competition.
- Custom-fitted mouthguard — These mouthguards are created from a mold of each individual’s teeth. This allows us to make the mouthguard perfectly suited to fit over your teeth.
These mouthguards tend to be smaller than the boil-and-bite kind. This makes it easier to breathe and to speak to your teammates in the middle of a game or match.
At our office, we create individualized Under Armour mouthguards. In addition to being comfortable, they are more durable than the mouthguards you can find in retail stores.
Who Needs A Mouthguard?
Anyone who participates in a high-impact sport or activity.
What constitutes a high-impact sport? It’s any sport that places stress on the supportive joints of our bodies.
If a sport involves lots of contact, quick and frequent changes of direction, or lots of jumping, then it is considered high-impact.
Looking at the fall sports calendar for Michigan high schools, we would recommend an athletic mouthguard for anyone involved in cheerleading, football, soccer, or volleyball.
Since winter sports often start practicing in the fall, it’s also a good idea to get a mouthguard for anyone planning to be part of a basketball, gymnastics, hockey, or wrestling team.
Of course, you don’t have to play a team sport to be involved in high-impact activities. Martial artists, skateboarders, and snowboarders can do a lot to protect their teeth and jaws by wearing an athletic mouthguard, too.
Take Care Of Your Teeth
Athletic mouthguards provided an added layer of protection from injuries. These can come from contact between athletes, a collision with a piece of sports equipment, or a fall.
Your mouthguard is most effective when it fits correctly and is in good shape. You should check the condition of your mouthguard before and after each use.
Also, remember to rinse the mouthguard after using it. Store it in a protective case with holes that allow it to dry correctly, and avoid storing it near heat since this can affect the shape and fit of the mouthguard.
If you live in or near Birmingham, MI, now is a great time to make an appointment with the dentist at Newingham Dental Center. Be ready for the fall sports season with your own custom-fitted mouthguard. Call 248-972-8720 or fill out our online form to get started.