Sports Guards / Mouth Guards – Protect your mouth, your smile, and your precious teeth
Dr. Louis and Barry Sandor recommend the use of customized sports guards, also known as mouth guards or protectors, for anyone participating in a sport or physical activity. Especially any contact sport activity. Custom sports guards provide extra protection to your face, mouth, and teeth. Sandor Family Dentistry can customize your individual sports guard to fit you perfectly. This guard will protect your teeth, mouth, tongue, lips, and jaw while you participate in sporting events. Your custom sports guard will provide comfortable protection and reduce your risk for sports injuries.
Our dentist is dedicated to keeping your smile healthy and free from pain. To help us do this, we provide several types of mouth guards at our office. For our athletic patients, we often recommend a type of mouth guard called an athletic mouth guard or sports guard. Sports guards fit over your teeth while you play sports and participate in other athletic activities to protect your smile from injury. Sports guards are especially important for our patients who play high-contact sports such as wrestling, football, hockey, and rugby; however, all types of athletes can benefit from an athletic mouth guard. Whether you play soccer, basketball, or baseball, a sports guard can be a great way to protect your smile and keep it safe.
While a number of types of athletic mouth guards are available with a “one size fits all”, a custom-made mouth guard is the most effective in protecting your smile. This type of mouth guard is designed to comfortably fit your smile and prevent dental injury such as knocked out and chipped teeth. A sports guard can also help to prevent injury to the soft tissues of the mouth, including the tongue, lips, cheeks, and gums.
Importance of wearing proper dental protection (mouth guards)
Most people wouldn’t imagine playing a high contact sport without wearing full head gear which includes a helmet and a mouth guard. Safety is the top priority for those who hit the field, from the small league to the pros. But what about those less intense sporting athletes? I’m referring to gymnasts, cyclists and volleyball players that all have the same chance as someone who plays football to injure their mouth.
Mouth guards protect the teeth from injury and also the jaw from injury. The shape of the mouth and teeth of each person is different, so a one size fits all approach to a mouth guard will not give you the protection you need. In fact, if you hit with an intense force, a poorly fitted mouth guard can cause even more damage. Properly manufactured, custom fit mouth guards play a major role not only in preventing dental injury and jaw injury, but also in reducing concussion, pulpal injury and teeth loss. Mouth guards are intended to absorb the shock vibrations that cause injury to relieve the stress concentrated on the teeth.
Let’s look at the mouth guard’s basic functions:
- During impact, mouth guards prevent cuts and bruises.
- By cushioning your teeth, mouth guards prevent tooth fractures or dislocations.
- Mouth guards protect the jaw so that the bone does not break or damage on impact.
- Mouth guards contribute to reducing brain injury.
- Impacts without a mouth guard can cause the jaws to jar together violently, which can lead to a concussion
- Mouth guards are used as a neck injury preventive measure.
- Athletes feel more comfortable and protected when using mouth guards.
Injuries from sports can cause lasting damage. It goes beyond the likelihood that a tooth may be lost. Some injuries to the jaw and neck may prevent an athlete from ever play sports again. It’s not just about professional sports. Football players in high school and college are as likely to get a head injury as an NFL player. During these years, getting a serious injury, such as a concussion or broken jaw, can drastically change the future of a person. An athlete is estimated to have more than 50 percent chance of being injured orally during their sports career. A properly fitted mouth guard will reduce injury opportunities as well as injury severity.
What sports to wear a mouth guard for:
The American Dental Association recommends wearing a custom mouth guard for athletes playing these sports:
- Field hockey
- Ice hockey
Benefits of a well fitting mouth guard
A properly manufactured mouth guard covers and supports all teeth and has sufficient thickness to shield the jaw. There is sufficient room between the top and bottom of the teeth so that the teeth will not be forced together if someone is hit in an upward movement. The front teeth should also be protected from a frontal blow that can knock out the teeth. Without much movement, it should easily remain in place and feel comfortable in the mouth while wearing it.
We will take a teeth and mouth mold and create a special mouth guard for you. The dentist will mold your mouthpiece around them for a precise fit if you have braces or a fixed bridge. You will need to get a new mold and a new mouth guard from the dentist if you have the braces removed. Children’s mouth guards will often need to be replaced as they grow. Even adults need to regularly change their mouth guards to get maximum protection. Over a period of time and after much use, the mouth guard can become weak, so replacing the mouth guard insures proper protection. A mouth guard is the most important piece of sports gear to protect your mouth.
A high school athlete study found that 75% of injuries occurred when mouth guards were not worn and 40% occurred during baseball and basketball. Nine percent of all athletes had some kind of oral injury while another three percent had a loss of consciousness. Fifty-six percent of all concussions were suffered when not worn by mouth guards.
Oral injury should not be left to chance. Yes, without an incident you can play over 100 games, but it only takes one time to get hit the wrong way and you can get a permanent injury. If you need help getting a custom fit mouth guard for yourself or your child, be sure to visit us before the next game!
For more information about getting a customized sports mouth guard in Freehold, NJ, or to answer any of your questions regarding the protection of your teeth, please contact us today. Our friendly team is always willing to help.