Now that sports are back in session, parents should be making sure that their children are wearing properly fitting mouth guards when on the field.
Not only do mouth guards protect your teeth, but they also protect your mouth from your teeth.
According to the American Dental Association, “Surveillance studies of mouth guard users and nonusers have consistently shown that mouth guards offer significant protection against sports-related injuries to the teeth and soft tissues.” The soft tissues they’re talking about are your lips, tongue and really your entire mouth.
Injuries to the mouth can cause a lot of damage, and the recovery process can be long and messy. Earlier this year, the New York Times wrote an article about mouth guards in NCAA basketball. They told the story of U.C.L.A. forward Travis Wear having four teeth knocked out during the 2011 season. They wrote, “He wound up playing the rest of the season with the four recovered teeth “braced” to his gums until he could have a new set implanted. The implant procedure took place nearly two months after the season. He wore a denture that he had to remove while eating. Stitches fell into his food.” The months of pain and discomfort were definitely not worth the risk he took by not wearing any mouth protection.
Mouth GuardsRecently there have been some more innovative mouth guard designs that have come onto the market. No longer do you have to boil and bite a piece of floppy rubber you bought at the local pharmacy. You can have a mouth guard professionally fitted by a dentist, or shop for some brands that are endorsed by professional and college athletes themselves, like Mogo or Gladiator. Take the time to find the right one and spend the extra money when you find it. Your kids’ teeth and their entire mouth will thank you.