Playing contact sports can be a lot of fun, but it can also be risky. From football to basketball, a wide range of activities can put players at risk of injury. One of the most common types of injuries in contact sports is dental trauma. To prevent such injuries, mouthguards have become an essential piece of equipment for athletes.
That said, in this article, we will discuss why mouthguards are so important for every contact sport.
What Are Mouthguards?
Mouthguards are dental devices that are worn over the teeth and gums to protect them from injury. They are typically made of a soft, flexible material that can absorb shock and distribute the impact of a blow across the entire mouth. They come in a variety of styles and designs, including custom-fitted, boil-and-bite, and stock mouthguards.
Why Are Mouthguards Important for Contact Sports?
Mouthguards are essential for contact sports because they help protect the teeth, gums, and jaws from injury. In sports like football, basketball, and hockey, players are at risk of collision and impact that can cause dental trauma. A mouthguard can help absorb the shock of a blow and protect the teeth and jaws from damage.
The truth is that dental trauma can be painful, expensive to treat, and can have long-lasting effects on oral health. In some cases, they can even lead to permanent damage or tooth loss. By wearing a mouthguard, athletes can significantly reduce the risk of ever experiencing such a predicament.
Custom-Fitted Mouthguards vs. Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards
There are two main types of mouthguards: custom-fitted and boil-and-bite. Custom-fitted mouthguards are made by a dentist or dental laboratory and are designed to fit the athlete’s teeth and gums perfectly. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are made from a thermoplastic material that softens when boiled and then molds to the athlete’s teeth when bitten down on.
While both types of mouthguards can provide protection, custom-fitted mouthguards are generally considered to be more effective. They are designed to fit the athlete’s teeth and gums perfectly, providing superior protection and comfort. Boil-and-bite mouthguards, on the other hand, may not fit as well and may be less comfortable to wear.
How to Choose the Right Mouthguard
When choosing a mouthguard, there are several factors to consider, including the sport being played, the athlete’s age and level of play, and personal preferences. You must choose a mouthguard that provides adequate protection without interfering with breathing or speaking. Custom-fitted mouthguards are often the best choice for athletes who want maximum protection and comfort.
Caring for Your Mouthguard
To ensure that your mouthguard provides optimal protection, it’s essential to care for it properly. After each use, rinse it with cool water and brush it with a toothpaste and a toothbrush. Store it in a clean, dry place, preferably in a protective case. Avoid exposing your mouthguard to high temperatures or direct sunlight, which can cause it to warp or lose shape.
Overall, mouthguards are an essential piece of equipment for athletes who play contact sports. Whether you’re a football player, basketball player, or hockey player, a mouthguard can help protect your teeth, gums, and jaws from injury. Custom-fitted mouthguards are generally considered to be the most effective, but boil-and-bite mouthguards can also provide adequate protection. Regardless of the type you would choose, you must care for it properly to ensure that it provides optimal protection.
By wearing a mouthguard and taking proper precautions, athletes can reduce their risk of dental trauma and protect their oral health.
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