Monthly Archives: February 2014

Do I Really Need to Wear an Athletic Mouthguard?

Athletic mouthguardAn athletic mouthguard is a flexible appliance that is worn during athletic and recreational activities to protect teeth from trauma.

Custom-fabricated mouthguards are essential for preventing athletic oral/facial injuries, such as broken teeth and jaw fractures. Mouthguards should be worn when participating in activities such as basketball, softball, football, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, in-line skating, martial arts, skateboarding and bicycling(especially mountain biking or BMX). Don’t forget the winter sports such as hockey, skiing and ice skating.

You should wear a mouthguard anytime there is a strong chance for contact with other participants or with hard surfaces. According to the National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Inc., dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports-related activities.

What kind of mouthguard do I need?

There are three types of mouthguards. The stock mouthguard is the least expensive and offers the least protection. This mouthguard requires the user to close their jaw to hold it in place so it may interfere with speech and breathing. This type of device is acceptable for facial protection.

How mouthguards help to protect athletesThe mouth-formed mouthguard is softened in hot water, placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth by using a finger or tongue and sometimes biting pressure. This provides some degree of protection but it usually will be bulky and have a loose fit. This is the most convenient for children since they are growing and their mouth changes rapidly.

A custom-made mouthguard made by your dentist is the best choice for the best protection, fit and comfort. Since it is made from a model of your teeth it stays is place and is the least bulky of all the options.

Common Habits Can Chip your Teeth!

Woman biting her nailsThough enamel is the hardest substance in your body, it can be damaged.   Using your teeth to open bottles, tear tape, open packages or biting fishing lines can chip your teeth.  Biting your nails or chewing on pencils can also damage your teeth.

Woman opening a package wih her teeth

 

Beware of chomping on seeds, popcorn kernels or even ice.   Your teeth are for chewing food. They are not tools.

 

Woman opening a bottle with her teeth

 

So the next time you hear your mom say “don’t use your teeth to open the bottle,” thank her for the reminder.