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Guard Your Mouth While Playing Sports

Posted on July 30th, 2013 by Dr. Nikoo Daftary

Imagine suddenly losing one or two of your front teeth. Everything would be affected – the way you look, feel and function everyday. You may not want to show your smile, and eating and talking would become more difficult tasks.
When kids, and even adults, play sports, accidents can happen. Whether it’s a high-contact sport like hockey or non-contact like gymnastics teeth can get knocked out from kicking, elbowing, pushing or falling. Fortunately there is a way to prevent that from happening. Mouthguards help cushion blows to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They generally cover the upper teeth and protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.
A mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age. Studies have shown that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard.
The three types of mouthguards:

  • Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Occasionally clean your mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
  • Transport it in a sturdy container that has vents
  • Never leave the piece in the sun or in hot water
  • Check for wear and tear to see if it needs replacing

Obviously the best option is a mouth protector that has been custom made for you by your dentist. However, if you can’t afford a custom-fitted guard, don’t skip out on wearing one – you should still purchase and wear a stock or boil and bite mouthguard from a sporting store or drugstore. If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, your dentist may also recommend a protector for these teeth.
If you have fixed bridge work or braces, a properly fitted guard is especially important. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other appliances. Talk to your dentist about selecting a mouthguard that will provide the best protection.
When caring for your mouthguard:

  • Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Occasionally clean your mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
  • Transport it in a sturdy container that has vents
  • Never leave the piece in the sun or in hot water
  • Check for wear and tear to see if it needs replacing

 
 
Courtesy of Mouth Healthy
http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/m/mouthguards.aspx

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