Every year almost 5 million teeth are knocked out playing sports. While that number may be shocking, you will be glad to know that more than 200,000 mouth injuries are prevented thanks to mouth guards. Almost 70% of children are involved in some type of organized sport. It doesn’t matter if the sport your child is involved in is hockey, soccer, or tennis, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In other words, being prepared with a sports mouth guard can save you costly, not to mention painful, injuries later on.
When and Why Should I Wear a Mouth Guard?
A mouth guard is essential to prevent injury during high contact sports. In fact, it was originally designed for boxers since they suffered a high number of injuries to the mouth and teeth. Now, its advantages have been widely recognized and its usage has spread to other sports like basketball, lacrosse, wrestling, football, rugby, martial arts, skating, skateboarding and many more. Wearing a mouth guard is the best way to avoid any serious injuries and other health problems. Severe injuries to the mouth can result in unconsciousness, hemorrhages and other severe health problems. Also, people suffering from bruxism must use mouth guards. Bruxism is brought on by stress and causes an individual to clench and grit their teeth when asleep. This can cause serious dental problems and also results in headaches and facial muscle pain. However, a bite card, which is a specialized mouth guard, can alleviate all these problems.
Should Kids Wear Mouth Guards?
Absolutely! Kids are just as, if not more, vulnerable to severe dental injuries during contact sports. The more athletic a kid is the higher the importance of having him or her wear a mouth guard. Sadly, due to a lack of awareness and cost constraints, few parents enforce this healthy practice. A couple of schools have made it mandatory for participating students to wear mouth guards. In case your child is reluctant to wear a mouth guard, our pediatric dentist at Fort York Dentist can help him or her understand the need and importance of doing so.
Where Can I Get a Mouth Guard?
A mouth guard is available at every pharmacy and, of course, at every dentist’s office. The mouth guards available at a drug store are generally of a ‘stock’ variety. They provide minimal protection as they do not properly fit the teeth of the wearer and need to be held in place by clenching the jaw. Also, you can obtain the more popular ‘boil and bite’ variant of mouth guards at drug stores. These typically have an inner lining of a soft material. These can be boiled and then bitten into to obtain a more custom fit. When bitten, they take the shape of the wearer’s teeth to some extent.
Mouth Guard Maintenance
The mouth guard should be regularly checked and contact Fort York Dentist if you find that it is showing signs of wear or does not appear to fit properly anymore. Make sure to clean your guard after each use with mild soap, or with mouthwash before letting it air dry. Storing it in its plastic case will make sure it doesn’t gather random bacteria as well as prevent accidental damage. Try to avoid chewing on your guard, if you find yourself unconsciously grinding your teeth, set up a time to speak with the dentist.
How Fort York Dentist Can Help
The best place to get a mouth guard is the dentist’s office. Here, you can get a custom mouth guard made. Call Fort York Dentist at (647) 346-8888, and we can provide these facilities. Our qualified dentists can also advise you on the mouth guard which would be best for you.