True story: My first year out of dental school, I had two guys come into the office directly from the basketball court. One guy had one of his front teeth knocked out. The other guy had guy #1’s tooth lodged in the top of his head. These guys made it into the office within about 10 minutes of the accident and we put the tooth back in place (please don’t try this yourself). The tooth required a root canal, but he was able to keep his natural tooth, saving up to $10k. But, if only he was wearing a mouthguard…
Don’t think this can happen to you or your child? Here are a few statistics:
- 58% of parents report their child suffered a mouth injury while playing sports.
- Of those, 65% report that, when the injury occurred, their child was not wearing a mouthguard.
- 37% of parents say their child never wears a mouthguard while playing sports.
Many dental injuries, including the one I described above, can be prevented by wearing a mouthguard.
Mouthguards come in a variety of forms. Here is a quick guide to what is out there:
Custom- made mouthguards
- Made by dentist
- Requires impression of teeth
- Excellent protection
- Excellent fit
- Very little interference with speech and/or breathing
- Not recommended during orthodontic treatment, but great for post orthodontic wear
- Purchased at sporting goods store, requires brief boiling, biting and finger pressure to customize
- Offers good protection
- The fit is somewhat bulky, but still okay
- Interferes some with breathing and speech as it is a bulkier protective device
- Recommended during orthodontic treatment, however can be difficult to customize around orthodontic appliances
- May need to replace each season
- Purchased at sporting goods store
- Non customizable
- Better than nothing
- Interferes somewhat with breathing and speech
- Very inexpensive
Which brings me to my two rules for mouthguards:
1) Wear it! The best mouthguard is the one that is worn. (Not the one hanging out of the mouth, like Steph Curry!)
2) Keep it clean! Wash in cool soapy water, rinse before/after use, brush with a toothbrush & toothpaste before/after use.
If you don’t have a mouthguard, please get one. We can supply you with a Boil-and-Bite Mouthguard or we can make you a custom mouthguard if you have finished orthodontic treatment. Trust me, a mouthguard can save you (and your family) a lot of time, hassle, and money!