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Big Plays and Big Smiles: Why You Should Wear a Mouth Guard While Playing Sports

baseball player ready to throw the ball

The days of mouth guards only being worn by football players are long gone.  To make the most of your child’s sporting experience, go through the appropriate measures to protect their teeth.

Spring Sports

Lacrosse, baseball, softball, and volleyball are all popular spring sports. Lacrosse is a contact sport which involves a lacrosse stick and a rubber ball, both of which can cause dental injury. Although they are not contact sports, baseball and softball players also face the risk of tooth damage because the ball travels at a high velocity. Even volleyball players are at risk; taking a spiked ball to the face can cause serious damage.

Having a dental injury can mean more than just pain. A tooth that is knocked out requires immediate attention, and even a chipped tooth can result in infection. There is also a possibility of lip or gum lacerations, which are painful and require a great deal of attention during the healing process.

Fall and Winter Sports

Football is what traditionally comes to mind when you think of athletes wearing mouth guards, but more and more basketball players are opting for extra dental protection. With flailing elbows and drives to the hoop, basketball players face a lot of dental dangers. Going with a mouth guard can help prevent chipped teeth and lacerated gums.

Mouth Guards

A mouth guard is an essential piece of safety equipment that often gets overlooked. The ADA cites a report written by the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, which forecasted that more than 3 million teeth would be knocked out in youth sports. A major cause of this is also cited in this report, which is the fact that people are 60 times more likely to suffer from tooth damage when a mouth guard is not used.

The purpose of a mouth guard is to protect your teeth. It keeps them from being chipped or broken, and can prevent them from being knocked out when there is a high impact. For people who wear braces, a mouth guard safeguards the lips from being lacerated by the metal. This piece of equipment even helps to prevent concussions.

There are several different types of mouth guards. These include ready-made, mouth formed, and custom fit mouth guards. For high contact sports, such as lacrosse, custom fit mouth guards are the best option. These can be made by a dentist and provide the highest level of protection. Mouth formed mouth guards are boiled in hot water, and then placed in your mouth until the plastic molds around your teeth. Ready-made mouth guards can be used immediately upon purchase, but do not provide as much protection as the other two types. No matter what type of mouth guard you use, it should fit snugly against your teeth.

Ensure that your child has proper dental protection this spring. Come visit us at Charlotte Dentistry®, where we provide quality dental services for you and your family.

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