We take it for granted that male athletes should use mouth guards for many sports, but the same is true for female athletics. The growth in sports for girls has been tremendous, and while many programs require mouth protection, some do not. And it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Contact sports such as Basketball, Soccer or Field Hockey certainly dictate the use of mouth guards, but others, such as Volleyball and Softball also have significant risk for mouth injuries. Even Cheerleading, because it has shifted in emphasis toward gymnastics and tumbling, puts athletes into situations where mouth injuries can occur.
Mouth guards help defend against teeth being knocked together, and/or being displaced, moved out of alignment or broken. With a mouth guard, the blow is cushioned and the force is distributed more evenly, so not just one tooth bears the full brunt of the force.
Mouth guards also defend against soft tissue wounds to lips, tongues, and cheeks. They can help protect against jaw fractures or splinters, and may even help defend against concussions.
If you have a daughter involved in athletics (or if you’re a female participating in sports yourself) it’s a good idea to get a good mouth guard. You may never need it. But should you need it even just one time, chances are good it will more than pay for itself by preventing costly damage and pain.
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