Play Ball! … And Wear An Athletic Mouthguard
- April 2, 2017
It can happen in an instant. A popup to shallow left field can set the shortstop and the left fielder on a collision course.
And that could leave one or both players with broken or missing teeth. That’s just one of the many possible ways someone could suffer a dental emergency on a baseball or softball field.
It’s also a good reason to remind everyone that the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend wearing a mouthguard while playing baseball, softball, and a host of other sports.
It’s also why athletic mouthguards are part of our general dentistry in Columbia, SC. If you would like to get a mouthguard for yourself or someone you love, contact Total Dental Care of South Carolina.
Do You Really Need A Mouthguard For Baseball?
Mouthguards may not be a required part of the uniform, but both the ADA and AAPD recommend having one for a reason.
Baseball causes more dental injuries than any other sport for children 7 to 12 years old, according to the AAPD’s “Policy on Prevention of Sports-related Orofacial Injuries.”
Mouthguards are recommended for any high-impact sport, and baseball certainly falls into that category.
So, what defines a high-impact sport? It’s any sport that means one or more of the following criteria:
☐ Frequent changes in speed or direction
☐ Frequent jumping (and landing)
☐ Frequent physical contact between participants
☐ Potential for equipment (balls, pucks, etc.) to strike a participant
This includes sports in which mouthguards are mandatory (boxing, football, wrestling) as well sports in which mouthguards are recommended (basketball, soccer, volleyball).
Mouthguards are also recommended for other high-impact activities, such as skateboarding and mountain biking. In fact, bicycles are a factor in more dental injuries than any other piece of sports equipment.
Why You Should Get A Mouthguard From A Dentist
If you come to Total Dental Care of South Carolina, we can create a custom-fitted mouthguard for you.
By making an impression of your teeth, we are able to use that as a mold. This allows us to make a mouthguard that is smaller, easier to wear, and more likely to protect you in the event of a collision or traumatic impact to your face or mouth.
Because they are molded to fit your teeth, these kinds of mouthguards offer the best protection possible.
It’s important to keep in mind that, much like a seatbelt in a car, a mouthguard won’t stop an accident from happening. However, it can minimize the damage caused as a result of that accident.
In the scenario in our introduction, a mouthguard could be the difference between one player losing or breaking a tooth, and the other one having a sore lip.
Where Other Mouthguards Fall Short
We want to be clear about something. It’s better to wear a mouthguard than no mouthguard at all.
The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation reported that athletes who don’t use mouthguards are 60 times more likely to suffer dental injuries than athletes who do.
With that in mind, we do want to explain why the ADA and AAPD recommend custom-fitted mouthguards over other kinds.
Stock mouthguards are made in a limited range of shapes and size. No two people have exactly the same mouth, so a one-size-fits-all approach to mouthguards makes them less likely to feel comfortable while you wear it.
Even if you do find one that fits, it won’t fit around your teeth as well.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards try to address this issue. They can be modified to a limited degree to better fit your mouth. Even so, this isn’t quite as customized as a mouthguard created from a mold of your teeth.
The other drawback is that boil-and-bite mouthguards tend to be bulky (so you have something to bite into). As a result, they may interfere with your ability to breathe or to communicate while you are playing your sport of choice.
Keep ‘Em Covered And Keep Playing
Our team at Total Dental Care of South Carolina can help in the event of a dental emergency. But, we would prefer to see you protect your smile, so you can keep playing with your team instead.
Again, you can contact us online or call 803-272-4162 to make an appointment to get your custom-fitted athletic mouthguard.