Dental trauma is a term that refers to injuries sustained to the gums, teeth, alveolar bone, periodontal ligament, and other soft tissues like the tongue and lips. Various factors cause dental trauma, and one of them is playing sports. This is why dentists at Graham Family Dental advise all people who are participating in contact sports to wear dental guards.
During the spring season, the weather is usually warmer, and, in most sports, it is time for a new season to commence. When acquiring all the gadgets you’ll need during the season, there is a key piece that you should not forget, a mouthguard. This device will protect the teeth from not only injuries, but also the jaws as well. Furthermore, they’ll also shield your tongue and lips from sustaining damages caused by the teeth in a moment of impact.
The use of protective mouth gears is important, especially if you play the following sports:
- Ice hockey
- Field hockey
- In-line skating
Types of Oral Protective Guards
There are three different types of mouth protectors, and they all have different functions. They include:
- Custom-fitted nightguard – These protectors are made and designed for specific individuals in a professional dental laboratory or office. At first, your dentist will take your dental impressions, which will be used to make your customized model. This version of protective guards is more comfortable and provides maximum protection, but they tend to be more costly than other guards.
- Stock-mouth protectors – This type of protector is sold in most sporting stores and come ready-to-wear. Although readily available, there are some drawbacks that come with these little devices, and for this reason, most dental practitioners do not advocate their use. With these gadgets, it’s nearly impossible to adjust how they fit, and they make both talking and breathing difficult. They are also bulky and offer little to no protection at all.
- Boil-and-bite mouthpiece – Compared to stock-mouth guards, these protectors fit better and offer more protection. Thermoplastic material is used as a raw material in the making of these gadgets. Its application procedure involves placing it in heated water before it is put in place. The hot water helps to soften the material to improve comfortability.
Generally, protective mouth gears are designed to cover the upper teeth, but in cases where one has braces or other dental appliances on the lower jaw, you can still get a protective guard for your lower teeth. Effective mouth protectors should be durable, comfortable, and also can resist tears.
Why Dental Professionals Encourage Protective Oral Guard in Sports
- They protect against soft tissue damage – Although your teeth can suffer damages during sporting activities, the occurrence of soft tissue damage by your teeth is still possible. By wearing mouth-protecting guards, such an occurrence can be avoided as they protect both the tongue and cheeks.
- Oral protectors prevent teeth displacement – Oral protective gears help prevent teeth displacement by redistributing forces over your teeth, keeping several teeth from suffering major trauma as the pressure is equally distributed.
- It minimizes jaw fractures – Oral protectors prevent jaw fractures by acting as padding, thus preventing teeth from coming into contact.
- Prevents concussions – Although there are people who disagree with this fact, studies have proved that wearing mouth protectors helps reduce concussions.
- It lowers chances of knocking your teeth out – General dentistry professionals have been able to certify this fact, which is why it is a must for contact sport players to where oral guards.
- Safeguards your teeth from fractures – Mouth-protecting gadgets will save your dental from breaking, and even when a fracture occurs, the damage sustained will be reversible. If the fracture has occurred on your teeth’s crown, fillings can be used to repair the fracture. If the dental pulp has been affected, root canal therapy can be performed to fix the problem.
How to Take Good Care of Mouth Protectors
- Do not chew on the guards.
- After you are done using it, use a toothbrush with some toothpaste to scrub it.
- Please do not keep it where there is direct sun exposure, causing it to melt or become deformed.