School is back in session, and student athletes are back on the playing fields. Most schools require students to wear a mouth guard during practice and games and many get the standard ‘boil and bite’ guards available over the counter. These are OK in a pinch but studies show that it offers no real protection.
Facial and head injuries can be sustained in nearly every game, from “contact” sports such as football, soccer and basketball, to “non-contact” sports like baseball, gymnastics, bicycling or skateboarding. We see more injuries to the mouth as a result of playing sports than from almost any other single cause. A survey conducted by the University of Texas found nearly 5 percent of male college athletes who played football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, ice hockey and lacrosse without wearing a mouth guard sustained some oral injury. That’s more than 2,000 injuries in just a single year at the college level alone! It’s at the junior high, high school, community and amateur levels that most injuries occur
If you or your children play any kind of sport, then a form fitting mouth guard offers better protection. A properly fitted mouth guard is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your mouth, cushion falls and blows that might otherwise cause broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. Custom-made guards are designed to cover all the teeth and are shown in the literature to be the best type of protection. Custom-made mouth guards may be slightly more expensive than commercially produced mouthpieces, but they offer the best possible fit and protection and are the most comfortable as they allow for easier breathing and speaking.
The National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, Inc. reports dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during participation in sports. Victims of tooth loss may face lifetime dental costs of $10,000 – $15,000 per tooth, hours in the dentist’s chair, and the possible development of other dental problems such as periodontal disease. While most people realize the importance of protection in organized sports, sometimes they forget to wear their mouth guards during recreation sports. Consider even just a basic custom mouth guard.
So our motto for all athletes is: Protect only the teeth that you want to keep!