Mouthguards, Not Just for Contact Sports

May 6, 2015 10:07 am
Football players, wrestlers, and boxers are normally the athletes we think of as wearing mouthguards. However, mouthguards are recommended for athletes in contact sports and non-contact recreational activities. Whether a mouthguard is custom-made or stock, it is important in protecting your teeth and mouth. When to Wear a Mouthguard All serious athletes should consider getting a mouthguard. Especially in the case of high-risk, contact sports, including: • Football • Baseball/Softball • Basketball • Ice/field Hockey • Soccer • Lacrosse • Volleyball However, there are several other activities that may not immediately come to mind where a mouthguard is recommended because of the possibility of dental trauma. These include: • Ice Skating • Martial Arts • Gymnastics • Biking • Skiing • Racquetball • Surfing • Acrobats How a Mouthguard Protects The upper set of teeth is the most likely to suffer from dental injury, so that is where the mouthguard typically goes. The guard surface distributes the impact of force, working as a shock absorber. It also cushions and protects the lips, tongue, and inner lining of cheeks by pulling them away from the teeth. What Kind of Mouthguard To Use There are three kinds of mouthguards available for use. • Custom-Made: This guard is the best for serious athletes, though it is also the most expensive. A dentist creates this acrylic guard from a mold of your teeth. Since it has the best fit, it also has the best protection. • Boil and Bite: This guard is inexpensive while still offering a pretty good fit and protection. You soften the thermoplastic in boiled water, and then bite on it so it cools to the shape of your teeth. • Stock: These come pre-formed and are made from polyvinyl or rubber. Though they do still protect your teeth, they don’t do as well as other types of mouthguards because of their poorer fit. This fit can also make it difficult to breathe or talk.

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