San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
A mouthguard is a protective oral appliance that can be worn during sports to prevent dental injuries such as breaking or cracking a tooth or knocking out a tooth completely. According to the American Dental Association, as much as 39% of all dental injuries are related to a sporting accident. Additionally, mouthguards could prevent as many as 200,000 dental injuries annually. Today on the blog, our Bay Area dentists share the real reason you need to wear a mouthguard.
How mouthguards help prevent dental injuries
Whenever you engage in sports, whether it is organized sports or something you partake in solo, you run the risk of a dental injury. The risks increase when playing sports like wrestling, basketball, and even baseball. Injuries may include laceration of the lips or cheeks, broken or chipped teeth, damage to a tooth root, damage to existing dental work, fractured jaw, avulsed (knocked out) tooth, or even concussions. Thankfully, you can avoid these injuries by wearing a mouthguard.
A particular study of high school athletes discovered that nearly 75% of injuries occurred when subjects did not wear a mouthguard. About 40% of those injuries happened during baseball or basketball. The study also reports that 9% of all athletes experience an oral injury and that 53% of concussions resulted when mouthguards weren’t worn. Wearing a mouthguard could reduce these risks!
Can I just get a store-bought mouthguard?
Think twice as much before you do! That’s the number of high school football players that wore a store-bought mouth guard and then later suffered a concussion, as opposed to those wearing a custom-made mouthguard from their dentist, according to one study. If you want to reduce your risk of a concussion, plus protect your teeth while you’re at it, visit the dentist, not a sporting goods store, for a mouthguard.
What’s it like to wear a mouthguard?
Custom mouthguards are thin enough to be fairly discreet and comfortable yet durable enough to provide the protection that the wearer needs. You should wear your custom-made mouthguard each time you engage in sports or sports-related activities. Caring for your mouthguard is easy too. Always cleanse your mouthguard after each use with mild soap and warm (not hot) water. Thoroughly dry your mouthguard before storing it in the case that we provide to you. Avoid leaving your mouth guard lying around or in direct sunlight because it could become damaged. Additionally, avoid sharing your mouthguard. It’s customized to fit your mouth only! See the dentist immediately if your mouthguard becomes lost, damaged, or worn.
Should I get a mouthguard?
If you participate in sports or even if you are in gymnastics, mountain bike, or do any type of activity where a facial injury might occur, it’s better to be safe than sorry and wear a custom-made mouthguard to protect yourself from dental injuries or worse, a concussion. Please note that wearing a mouthguard should not replace the proper protective gear necessary for specific sports. Getting a mouth guard is easy. Just schedule an appointment with Glen Park Dental by calling (415) 585-1500 to get started today!