Participation of adolescents in sports has significantly increased in the past few years. According to a recent survey report, 20-25 million adolescent and youths take a part in competitive sports. Such an increase in the participation in sports has also significantly increased the occurrence of injury. Sports medical research accounts for more than 36% unintentional injuries to adolescents and children. 10-20% of these wounds are maxillofacial, as provided by the American Dental Association.
In sports, dental injuries, also referred as orofacial injury are the commonly sustained damages in sports. The National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety claims that an athlete is likely to prevent dental or oral damage when wearing a mouth guard and sustain the damage, 60 times more when playing sports without the protection of a mouth guard. Several times the injury results into permanent damage to the structure of jaw, requiring a long term medical intervention.
Of all the psychical damages, dental injury in sport is the easiest to prevent. Sport trainers and experts recommend mouthgaurds to athletes in both recreational and competitive sports in which the likelihood of contact, collision and impact is high. ADA (American Dental Association) for several years have been emphasizing on the significance of wearing a mouthgaurd when participating in the following sports:
- Ice hockey
- Field hockey
- Martial arts
- Roller hockey
- Shot putting
- Weight lifting
- Water polo
Types of Mouthguards:
There are basically three types of mouth guards, however the best of all is the one custom made by a dentist according to the shape and size of your jaw. For those who cannot afford a personalized mouth guard, below are the other two options:
- Boil & bite: Easily available at drug and sport stores, these mouth protectors have a better fitting compared to the stock mouthguards. These mouth guards are first boiled in water for softening. Then they are inserted in the jaw to form the shape of your mouth. It is recommended to first follow the instructions provided by the manufacturers. Furthermore, always purchase a mouth protector that comes with an ADA acceptance seal.
- Stock: Stock are local inexpensive, ready to wear mouth guards. Chances are, they won’t offer a good fitting. They are heavy and cause make breathing difficult.
Mouthguards vary in comfort, size and price. However all of them offer the same level of protection. Where protection may be a common feature of all, it is recommended to purchase a mouth guard that is comfortable to wear, is resilient and resistance to wear and tear. Fitting is another important element since it may disturb the conscious level otherwise. Moreover, a quality mouth protection is durable, easy to clean and does not restrict breathing and speech.
Your damaged teeth are not going to grow again. Protect your mouth and your perfect smile with a mouth protector.