Sports are good for your overall health, but they're not always good for your oral health. Riverstone Family Dentistry understands this and highly recommends you wear a sports mouthguard (a.k.a. mouth protector) for this very reason.
When to Wear a Sports Mouthguard
Mouthguards are important because they protect your teeth from getting chipped, broken, or even knocked out of your mouth. They can also protect your lips, tongue, and face. What many people don't realize is that mouthguards will redistribute the force if you receive a blow to your head. This doesn't mean that they'll prevent a concussion, but they will lessen the injury's severity.
Understanding what mouthguards can do for you will help you understand why they're mandatory when playing sports like football, hockey, or boxing. You may also want to think about wearing one when you're playing baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, or involved in wrestling. The American Dental Association (A.D.A.) also recommends wearing them if you're involved in acrobatics, gymnastics, skydiving, boxing, martial arts, field hockey, ice hockey, roller hockey, squash, lacrosse, rugby, handball, racquetball, shot putting, surfing, skiing, or skateboarding.
These mouthguards will cover your teeth, so they don't get injured by you accidentally grinding them while you're playing your sport. Typically, they're easy to fit since they're made from a thermoplastic material. Simply boil it in some hot water, then when it's soft, place it in your mouth and use your finger and tongue to help shape it around your teeth.
Who Should Wear a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard will help cushion a blow to your face, so you're less likely to break a tooth or injure your lips, tongue, face, or jaw. They'll cover your upper teeth and from there provide you with the protection you need. It's important to understand that your mouthguard won't protect you against a concussion though. Nevertheless, the protection they do provide is important. For instance, they've been known to soften a blow that could have otherwise resulted in a fractured jaw.
Finding the "Perfect" Mouthguard
When you're wearing a mouthguard for sports, it's important for it to fit snugly against the upper teeth in your mouth. You don't want to have to bite or clench down on it to hold it in place. If you find yourself doing this, you know your mouthguard isn't fitting you properly. Instead, you simply want it to stay firmly in place without any thought on your behalf so you can safely enjoy your sports.
Once you've found a good mouthguard that fits you properly, you'll want to clean, maintain, and store it properly. Failure to do so will result in it wearing out quickly. However, when you spend a few minutes properly caring for it (brushing it like you'd brush your natural teeth), it should last you for a year.
Now that you can see why wearing a sports mouthguard is something you should do make sure you call Riverstone Family Dentistry at (360) 326-1443. We will help you get one that fits well, so it'll help keep you safe while you're enjoying engaging in sports.