A mouthguard is one of the most important pieces of sporting equipment you or you child can wear. Because tooth enamel is made up of minerals rather than cells, it lacks the same ability to heal that other body parts have. Sports injuries to the teeth are typically permanent, with extensive dental procedures required to restore the function and aesthetics of the smile.
We only get two sets of teeth in life, with the baby teeth eventually being replaced by their successors (except for a few individuals who lack one or more of these secondary teeth), so mouthguards are especially necessary for older children and teens who have most of their permanent adult teeth in place already. They also help provide protection for the gums, cheeks, lips, and the tongue. The American Dental Association states that properly fitted mouthguards are “the best available protective device for reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries.”
Dental injury can occur due to all kinds of sports and activities, but contact sports like football, soccer, and hockey raise the risk because of the increased likelihood for collisions with other players or equipment. Mouthguards help by taking the force and dissipating it or distributing it, minimizing the effect on the teeth and gums underneath.
Mouthguards are available over-the-counter at most sporting goods retailers, and our office offers custom fitted mouth guards (which also come in custom colors… go team!). They are not as inexpensive as the over-the-counter kind, but custom-fitted mouth guards are more comfortable, allow for easier speech and breathing, and are intended to be more durable and effective. They are certainly less expensive than many of the restorative procedures that could be needed if injury occurs while no mouthguard is worn!
Contact our office for more information on getting a custom-fit mouthguard for your self or child or teenager. You can be sure Dr. Vancil and the Mall of Georgia Dentistry team would rather see you for a mouthguard fitting than for any of the other sport-related reasons that bring patients into our office!
Make sure to protect that smile… you’ll need it after every winning game!