With winter sports like skiing, ice-skating and hockey underway, we wanted to remind our patients about the importance of wearing a mouthguard. Here are some frequent questions we hear from our patients about mouthguards:
Q: What are mouthguards?
A: Mouthguards are a flexible, removable device made of soft plastic, and they are adapted to fit comfortably with the shape of the upper teeth.
Q: Why are mouthguards so important?
A: Mouthguards protect not just the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, and tongue. They also help protect athletes from head and neck injuries, as well as concussions and jaw fractures. Increasingly, organized sports are requiring mouthguards to prevent injury to their athletes, and research shows us that most oral injuries occur when athletes are not wearing mouth protection.
Q: When should I wear my mouthguard?
A: Whenever you are in an activity with a risk of falls or head contact with other players or equipment. This includes football, baseball, basketball, soccer, skiing, wrestling, hockey, and even gymnastics.
Q: How do I choose a mouthguard that is right for me?
A: We encourage you to choose a mouth guard that you can wear comfortably. You can select from several options in mouthguards. First, preformed or “boil-to-fit” mouthguards are found in sports stores. Otherwise, we can talk about your options for a custom mouthguard, which will be more comfortable to wear and more effective in preventing injuries this winter. Please give us a call if you have any other questions, or ask us on Facebook!