In sports and athletics, dental injuries are common occurrences that can be extremely painful and costly. A simple yet effective solution to prevent these injuries is the use of mouthguards.
This article will explore the importance of mouthguards in sports, how they work to prevent dental injuries, and the different types of mouthguards available on the market.
The Importance of Mouthguards in Sports
Participating in sports, especially contact sports, poses a risk of dental injuries such as chipped or broken teeth, tooth displacement, and even tooth loss. Not only are these injuries painful, but they can also lead to long-term dental issues and expensive medical bills.
Based on studies, athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain a dental injury. Mouthguards, also known as mouthpieces, play a crucial role in protecting an athlete’s teeth, lips, gums, and jaw from potential damage.
They provide a cushion to absorb and distribute the force of impact, reducing the severity of potential damage. Wearing a mouthguard while participating in sports can save athletes from the pain, expense, and inconvenience of dental injuries.
How Mouthguards Work to Prevent Dental Injuries
Mouthguards are designed to cover the upper teeth and act as a protective barrier between the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth. When an athlete receives a blow to the face, the mouthguard absorbs and disperses the force of the impact. Doing so helps prevent the following types of dental injuries:
Protecting Your Teeth and Gums
A mouthguard acts as padding for your teeth and gums, absorbing the impact of blows to the face and head. This minimizes the risk of chipped or broken teeth, tooth displacement, and even tooth loss. In addition, it helps protect the soft tissues of your tongue, cheeks, and lips from cuts and bruises.
Reducing the Risk of Jaw Injuries
Mouthguards can also help prevent jaw fractures and dislocations by reducing the force of impact on the jaw joint. When the lower jaw is subjected to sudden pressure, it can be pushed back into the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), causing injury. A mouthguard helps distribute the impact evenly, lowering the risk of TMJ disorders.
While mouthguards cannot prevent concussions entirely, they can lower the risk by absorbing and redistributing the force of impact to the skull. This reduces the shock and vibration transmitted to the brain, lessening the chance of a concussion.
Different Types of Mouthguards
Three primary varieties of mouthguards can be found in the market:
- Stock Mouthguards: These pre-made mouthguards are the most affordable option and can be found at most sporting goods stores. They come in various sizes but may not provide the best fit or protection. Stock mouthguards can be bulky and uncomfortable, making it difficult for athletes to breathe and speak.
- Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards: Made from thermoplastic material, boil-and-bite mouthguards are a popular choice among athletes. They are immersed in boiling water and then placed in the athlete’s mouth to form a custom fit. These mouthguards offer a better fit than stock mouthguards but may not provide the same level of protection as custom-made mouthguards.
- Custom-Made Mouthguards: These mouthguards are professionally made by a dentist or dental laboratory to provide the best possible fit and protection. Custom-made mouthguards are tailored to the athlete’s specific dental structure, making them the most comfortable and effective option. However, they are also the most expensive type of mouthguard.
Choosing the Right Mouthguard for You
When selecting a mouthguard, it’s essential to consider the following factors:
- Fit: A mouthguard should fit snugly and stay in place without needing constant adjustment. A poorly fitting mouthguard can be uncomfortable and less effective in preventing dental injuries.
- Comfort: If a mouthguard is uncomfortable, athletes are less likely to wear it consistently. Choose a mouthguard that allows for easy breathing and speaking.
- Protection: The primary purpose of a mouthguard is to protect your teeth and gums. Look for a mouthguard that provides adequate coverage and cushioning for your specific sport.
- Durability: Mouthguards should be made from durable materials that can withstand the rigors of your sport and last for an entire season or longer. Look for mouthguards made from high-quality materials like ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) or polyurethane, known for their durability and impact-absorption properties.
- Ease of Cleaning: Mouthguards should be easy to clean and maintain. Choose a mouthguard that can be easily rinsed with water or cleaned with a mouthguard cleaning solution. Keep in mind that some mouthguards can also be boiled for thorough sanitization.
Mouthguards are crucial protective gear for contact sports, preventing dental injuries and ensuring athletes’ safety and health. Different types are available, and athletes should prioritize fit, comfort, protection, durability, and ease of cleaning when choosing the right one for their needs.
Experience top-notch protection for your teeth while engaging in sports with 4KPS LLC’s sports mouthguards. We are committed to ensuring athletes don’t have to sacrifice their oral well-being and comfort.
Play with confidence and peace of mind, knowing you are well-protected from dental injuries. Get your custom-fit mouthguard sports equipment now and enjoy unmatched breathability and on-field communication.