Protect Your Smile & Keep Playing
- April 17, 2018
The spring sports season is underway, which is a great reason for you to visit our general dentist office in Columbia, SC.
Why, you ask? Because if you are an athlete, then you should be wearing an athletic mouthguard while you play or practice your sport of choice.
It’s never too early to protect your smile.
Why You Should Wear a Mouthguard
Anyone who plays a high-impact sport should use a mouthguard, according to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
The definition of “high-impact sports” includes a lot more than just football or combat sports like boxing. It includes any sport in which athletes change speed or direction frequently, jump often, or kick, throw, or hit something (be it a puck, a ball, or anything else). Yes, this includes contact sports, too.
By this definition, everyone from baseball players to cheerleaders to soccer and volleyball players should be wearing mouthguards. Yet, a recent survey of parents revealed that 84 percent of children do NOT wear mouthguards while they are playing sports.
This is in spite of the fact that an estimated 3 million teeth will be knocked out during youth sports this year. The ADA reports that around 200,000 dental injuries are prevented every year by mouthguards.
Just think of how many of those 3 million teeth could be saved if every young athlete wore a custom-fitted mouthguard.
Why Custom-Fitted Mouthguards are the Best Option
We want to state up front that wearing any mouthguard is better than wearing no mouthguard at all. At the same time, the ADA and AAPD both recommend custom-fitted mouthguards.
To understand why, let’s use driving as a comparison. When you get in your car to go to work or the store, you put on your seatbelt just in case something happens. You hope it doesn’t, but you know at seat belt offers protection in everyday driving conditions.
In contrast, a NASCAR driver would not get in a car had the same seatbelt as your family car. Race drivers understand they have a higher risk of being in an accident on the track, which is why they have five-point harnesses as well as helmets and other protective equipment.
The boil-and-bite mouthguard is like the seatbelt in your car, while a custom-fitted mouthguard is like the five-point harness race drivers use. Which one do you think is a better option when you are on the field or the court?
Added protection may be the most important reason to get a custom-made sports mouthguard, but it’s not the only reason.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards tend to be bulky. This can make them uncomfortable to wear. Their size also can affect who well you can breathe. These mouthguards also interfere with your ability to communicate in the midst of the action.
Custom-fitted mouthguards are smaller. This means them more comfortable. As a result, you can breathe, speak, and stay hydrated without taking them out of your mouth.
What About the Cost?
That’s a reasonable question. It is true that a custom-fitted mouthguard will cost a more than the mouthguards you can buy at a store.
But it’s still much, much less than the cost of repairing a broken tooth or replacing a tooth that has been knocked out.
With that said, we can help with broken and knocked-out teeth as well. At Total Dental Care of South Carolina, we can create a dental crown for you in a single visit to our office. We can make CEREC dental crowns in our office in a matter of a few hours.
We can also tell you that the cost of a custom-designed mouthguard is minimal compared to the cost of fixing or replacing any tooth. As dental professionals, we would much rather make a mouthguard for you today than treat you for a dental emergency a month from now.
Protect Your Smile
When we talk about protecting our patients’ teeth, we don’t just mean fighting cavities. We want to reduce your risk of a traumatic injury as well.