What should I know about mouthguards and “contact” sports?
How important is it for athletes to wear mouthguards? What’s the difference between a custom one made by my dentist, and the “boil and bite kind” I get at the sporting goods store? How cool is it to chew on (like those guys on TV)?
Playing sports can be one of the most exciting and rewarding things a kid can do. In addition to the fun, there is an opportunity to learn many life lessons. Perseverance, discipline, and the confidence that comes with mastering something, are all things that I learned from sports.
However, like most things worth doing, it is an activity that comes with risk. Contact sports are no longer limited to football, hockey, and martial arts. Significant contact with equipment, playing surfaces, and other athletes occurs routinely in wrestling, lacrosse, softball, basketball, gymnastics, skateboarding…
Dental injuries are the most common oro-facial injury sustained while playing sports. Fortunately most of these injuries are preventable with mouthguards.
How important is it to wear protection?
According to sportsdentistry.com, an athlete is 60 times more likely to experience damage to their teeth if they do not wear mouthguards. Having a properly fitted mouthguard in place can lessen the severity of a concussion caused by a blow to the jaw.
What are the risks involved with injury?
Making an informed decision about whether or not to invest in a custom mouthguard is about understanding risks and benefits.
- The cost of repairing a broken tooth can range from $250 to $2500.
- The cost of replanting a tooth that is knocked out (including follow up care) is about $5000.
- Lifetime costs for replacing a tooth are approximately $15,000 – $20,000.
- We are still learning about the residual damage to the brain that may be caused by a concussion.
Lost practice/competition time (after suffering a concussion) is a minimum of one week after the cessation of all symptoms.
What are the advantages of custom fitted mouthguards?
The laminated resin material which is formed under high pressure provides more strength than stock thermoplastic material.
A rigid disc is embedded directly behind front teeth for additional resistance to being pushed backward.
An accurate fit means more protection for lips, teeth, and temporal mandibular joints.
A more comfortable streamlined fit means better speech and airflow. This may be the most important thing. let’s face it, any guard can only protect you if it’s in your mouth.
If you have athletes in your family, ask us about the custom mouthguards we make right here in the office.