Participating in sports and high-risk activities can be exhilarating. But, it also comes with potential risks, including dental injuries. That’s where mouthguards step in as essential protective gear. With the help of mouthguards, you can help protect your teeth. Otherwise, you may need to invest in emergency dental care.
The Smile-Worthy Benefits of Mouthguards
Mouthguards are custom-designed or ready-to-wear devices that fit snugly over your teeth and gums. They provide a protective barrier during physical activities. They offer many key advantages.
The primary purpose of mouthguards is to protect your teeth from injuries such as chips, fractures, and even tooth loss. This is because they absorb and distribute the force of impact. They reduce the risk of trauma to your mouth and jaw.
Mouthguards also shield your lips, cheeks, tongue, and gums from cuts and abrasions that can occur during sports collisions. Also, some studies suggest that properly fitted mouthguards may reduce the risk of concussion. This is because they absorb shock and stabilize the head.
Sports and Activities that Require Mouthguards
Mouthguards are essential for various sports and activities.
Contact sports are high-risk. For example, football, hockey, rugby, and wrestling are high-contact sports where mouthguards are a must to protect against direct blows to the face.
Although basketball is a non-contact sport, accidental collisions and falls can still pose a risk to your teeth and mouth. Sometimes, a stray elbow can damage your smile.
Martial arts are a way to stay in shape and learn self-defense. Whether it’s karate, taekwondo, or mixed martial arts, mouthguards are vital to protect against kicks and punches.
Even in cycling, accidents can happen. But, a mouthguard can protect your teeth and mouth in case of a fall.
Skateboarding involves high speeds and tricks. This makes it essential to wear a mouthguard to prevent dental injuries.
Choosing the Right Mouthguard
There are three main types of mouthguards to consider.
Custom-Fitted: These are made by your dentist and offer the best fit, comfort, and protection. Many experts highly recommend these for high-impact sports.
Boil-and-Bite: These mouthguards are softened in hot water, allowing you to mold them to your teeth for a semi-custom fit.
Stock Mouthguards: These are pre-made and come in various sizes. While affordable, they often provide a less comfortable fit.
For maximum protection, consult with your dentist to determine the best mouthguard option for your specific needs.
The Cost of Not Using a Mouthguard
The consequences of not using a mouthguard during sports or high-risk activities can be severe.
Dental injuries can result in pain, costly treatments, and permanent damage to your teeth and oral health. The pain and discomfort from dental injuries can affect your daily life and even lead to long-term complications.
Chipped or missing teeth can impact your smile and self-confidence. Also, the cost of treating dental injuries can far exceed the cost of a mouthguard. This helps make prevention the more affordable option.