You and your friends are getting ready to play a friendly game of basketball. At some point, it usually becomes quite competitive and can get a little feisty in terms of contact. Unfortunately, you’ve experienced being hit in the face a couple of times, which leaves you wondering whether you should wear a mouthguard while you play. After all, many professional players do, but do you, as an average Joe, need to wear one as well? Are mouthguards really that effective? Read on to learn what your emergency dentist has to say.
What do mouthguards do?
As their name suggests, mouthguards protect your gums, lips, and teeth from a direct impact to the mouth. Made of hard, but somewhat flexible plastic, mouthguards are typically curved to follow the natural arch of teeth. They can vary in size, quality, and effectiveness, but all are designed to absorb the force of facial contact.
When should I wear a mouthguard?
A mouthguard particularly comes in handy while you’re participating in boxing and other martial arts, football, rugby, hockey, and lacrosse—all which involve contact with the opposing team. In fact, many times, athletes of these sports can experience hard impacts on a regular basis. As a result, no matter the age or skill level of athlete, they should wear a mouthguard while playing these sports.
However, even in sports where contact may be unintentional or incidental, such as basketball or even soccer, mouthguards are a smart idea for the players’ safety.
Why do mouthguards matter?
It is estimated that around one-third of all dental injuries in the United States are sports related. That’s millions of teeth that could have been spared—if the player had been wearing a mouthguard. With a properly fitted mouthguard, the force is directed away from the teeth, preventing them from chipping, breaking, or coming out completely. In addition, some experts say that mouthguards can even reduce the chances of a concussion by absorbing the brunt of an impact to the face.
Should I get a mouthguard over the counter or through my dentist?
Although a store-bought mouthguard is better than none at all, they are mass produced to accommodate as many people as possible. Therefore, they often don’t fit well, which can cause them to feel uncomfortable or shift or come out upon contact. In contrast, a custom mouthguard created by your dentist is fabricated using an impression of your unique teeth. As a result, it should fit you perfectly and stay in place as intended. Ultimately, the choice is yours, of course, but custom-made mouthguards seem to provide the most benefits overall.
Before the next time you play basketball (or football, etc.) with your buddies, it’s worth taking the time to protect yourself and your smile. That way, you don’t have to deal with a painful dental injury or spend the time and money to repair your teeth. Contact your dentist in Midland and order your custom mouthguard today!
About the Practice
At Boyles General Dentistry, although our three experienced, highly trained dentists can treat sports-related dental injuries, we would rather help patients prevent these emergencies from happening in the first place. If you would like to have a custom mouthguard made just for you, or if you have a dental emergency, you can contact Boyles General Dentistry by calling (432) 685-7011 or clicking here.