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The Importance of Wearing a Sports Mouth Guard: Why Every Athlete Needs One

Posted in Adults, British Columbia, Children, General, Invisalign, Orthodontics, Phase 1 Treatment, Phase 2 Treatment, Teens, Tips & Advice, Treatment Process

While playing contact sports can be a great way to exercise, dental injuries suffered during collisions or contact can cause significant damage to your oral and overall health. In this post, our BC orthodontists explain why it's important to wear a mouth guard for sports and how they can protect your mouth.

Why wear a mouth guard for sports? 

Every day, millions of people head out onto the field or rink to play the sport they love, get some exercise and enjoy the adrenaline rush and camaraderie team-based activities bring. That said, many athletes will lose a tooth or suffer from other dental injuries as a result of contact sports injuries and trauma to the mouth. While this can include tooth loss, jaw injuries and damage to the soft tissues, it can also extend to traumatic injuries to the neck and brain that can leave you permanently sidelined. 

Whether you're a professional athlete, weekend warrior or somewhere in between, a custom mouth guard from our BC orthodontists can protect your teeth, soft tissues and overall oral health. 

What is a mouth guard?

Wearing a mouthguard while you play sports can prevent most sports-related injuries. A mouthguard is a dental device athletes can wear over their teeth to reduce the impact of accidents that occur during contact sports. A mouthguard protects your teeth and your head against impact blows to the jaw, which can result in concussions or loss of consciousness. 

If you or your child are playing high-impact sports such as soccer, ice hockey, across, field hockey, football, boxing, basketball, racquetball, rugby, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, skateboarding, skiing, wrestling or volleyball, we'd recommend wearing a custom-made mouthguard. 

Our orthodontic specialists at My ORTHODONTIST can create a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth, so you can still play the sport you love during orthodontic treatment. While there are pre-made stock mouthguards and boil-and-bite mouthguards (which the wearer would bill, then bite down on) are on the market, our orthodontists recommend investing in a custom mouthguard. Though they are more expensive, they've proven to be the most effective option for athletes involved in high-impact sports. 

Our orthodontists will take digital impressions of your teeth and mouth to create your personalized mouthguard. While there are no special mouthguards for braces, your orthodontist can create your mouthguard to fit comfortably over your braces so you can play sports safely. 

Keep in mind that as children grow, their mouthguards will need to be replaced to ensure maximum protection. The devices weaken or wear out with time, which can leave protection compromised. 

Why wear a custom sports mouth guard? 

When it comes to protecting your mouth while playing sports, a mouthguard is as important as other safety equipment such as a helmet and shinpads, which protect other parts of the body often injured during contact. 

Here are some reasons to consider a custom sports mouthguard: 

1. Protect your teeth from chips, cracks and fractures. 

Teeth are a little bit looser during orthodontic treatment, and are therefore more easily damaged by impact. Knocked-out teeth, chips, fractures and cracks are some of the most common dental injuries to occur during contact sports. Mouthguard can help prevent damage to your teeth from happening if you take a hit to the mouth. 

2. Protect your mouth's soft tissues. 

Wearing a mouthguard prevents you from biting your tongue, cheeks, gums and lips if you are hit in the mouth while playing sports. Cuts from braces can also be prevented. 

3. Prevent serious injury to other parts of the body. 

While mouthguards protect your teeth, soft tissues and other areas, they can also prevent serious injuries to other body parts as a quality custom mouthguard can absorb a blow to the jaw that may occur during a collision. This can prevent a broken jaw, neck injuries, concussion and even cerebral hemorrhage.  

4. Protect your braces. 

Orthodontic treatment takes significant time and effort, and it's important to protect your braces from damage. A mouthguard can do this, along with preventing injuries that may be caused by braces cutting into gums or other soft tissues in an unprotected mouth. 

5. Protect your investment in your oral health and orthodontic treatment.  

In addition to spending time and effort on your orthodontic treatment, you've also made a significant financial investment in getting braces. However, without wearing a properly fitting custom mouthguard, you run the risk of taking a hit to the mouth that can damage your braces along with your teeth and soft tissues, causing deep cuts on the cheeks, gums, lip and tongue.

While an injury can affect your oral and overall health, it can also cause a setback in your orthodontic treatment, necessitating emergency treatment and potentially lengthening the amount of time you'll need to have braces. Wearing a mouthguard can prevent needing complex and expensive treatments to help you recover from an injury, saving you thousands of dollars. 

Custom Sports Mouth Guards at My ORTHODONTIST

In addition to guiding you through your orthodontic treatment, our orthodontists can fit you for a custom-made mouthguard to help protect your teeth from potential injury while you play sports, reduce your risk for facial fractures and lower the chance of concussion. 

If you play sports and would like to be fitted for a custom-made mouthguard, your orthodontists in BC are here to help, and to address any questions or concerns you may have.

Are you or the athlete in your life interested in getting a custom sports mouth guard? Schedule an appointment with our BC orthodontists at My ORTHODONTIST. We look forward to addressing your questions and concerns.

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