A mouth guard is a device used to protect the mouth and teeth. It can either be custom made by our dentist or purchased in a stock size that most closely fits you. Your mouth guard should cover your upper or lower teeth and gums and fit so that your jaws are properly aligned. It is also very important that it is light, strong, and easy to clean. A mouth guard which is too large will not provide optimal protection due to shifting over the teeth and gums. A mouth guard which is too small can create excess pressure which, when met with force, can injure the teeth further.
A mouth guard is used to prevent mouth and dental injuries while participating in sports, such as horseback riding, handball, rugby, karate, judo, gymnastics, football, baseball, ice or field hockey, soccer, wrestling, boxing, water polo, lacrosse, and basketball.
However, there are also many non-athletic applications. Frequent grinding or clenching of your teeth can cause worn-down teeth, fractured enamel, or painful and loose teeth. Your dentist may recommend a mouth guard to protect your teeth if you grind them. It is common for patients to require a mouth guard be worn during sleep to prevent teeth grinding at night.
All athletes should wear a mouth guard any time they are participating in a sport. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) athletes that fail to wear a mouth guard are 60 times more likely to suffer injury than those that wear one. Therefore a mouth guard should be just as important as any other piece of sports equipment. A football player wouldn’t enter the field of play without pads, and a hockey player wouldnt step on the ice without shinguards. Athletes shouldn’t consider participating in sports without a mouth guard. A mouth guard provides vital protection during play, and can prevent oral injuries including the following:
It has been suggested that mouth guards may also reduce the rate of concussions. Concussions are now can have a lasting negative impact on health and are a hot topic in the world of sports. It’s estimated that one-third of all dental injuries in America are due to sports. In fact, the ADA believes that over 200,000 oral injuries each year could be prevented if all athletes wore mouth guards.
In some sports, mouth guards are mandatory. However, children and adults should strongly consider wearing them when playing any physical sport because incidental contact may cause injury. The ADA recommends custom mouth guards for many sports, including:
Since accidents can occur at any time, the mouth guard should be worn during all practices as well as competitions. Even those playing recreational sports should strongly consider wearing a mouth guard if a possibility of contact or collision exists.
Regardless of whether you are a kidor an adult, it is important to wear a mouth guard in sports. Dr. Nina Babayev can help you determine what type is best for you. You will be taking the first step to prevent a future oral injury. You may even prevent a concussion which may prevent a long-term brain injury. Wearing a mouth guard is an effective and inexpensive way to protect your mouth—and your health!
If you live in the Long Island, New York or Franklin Square, NY are and require an a, give custom mouth guard for a child or adult, call our office a call at (516) 233-1227 and make your appointment with Dr. Nina Babayev.