Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mouth Guards - A Critical But Overlooked Piece of Athletic Equipment

Chances are that either you or someone you know (be they young or old) plays some kind of sport without wearing an athletic mouth guard. You are not alone -- a recent study of Division I college basketball players found that only 13 percent routinely wear an athletic mouth guard. The American Dental Association recommends that anyone involved in sporting or recreational activities that might involve injury to the mouth (this includes sports like gymnastics, basketball, baseball, soccer, football, hockey, wrestling, boxing, etc.) wear athletic mouth guards at all times, including training and practice sessions. Mouth guards are estimated to prevent 20 million dental and maxillofacial injuries a year and those not wearing athletic mouth guards are 60 times more likely to suffer permanent damage. Young children are especially encouraged to wear mouth guards to prevent injury and to introduce them to the habit of routinely wearing a mouth guard for athletic activities.

Our office routinely makes Playsafe mouth guards for our athletic patients of all ages. Playsafe mouth guards are custom-made to your specific dental anatomy and offer the highest level of comfort and safety available. Chances are you've seen those inexpensive, over the counter mouth guards at the drug store that you boil in water and shape to your mouth. While a cheap and easy alternative, these mouth guards are not custom-made to your mouth and do not provide the snug fit that is required for protection of the teeth and jaw. Moreover, because they are not custom-fit to your particular dentition, they require you to bite down to keep the mouth guard in place which makes the person wearing the mouth guard have to exert pressure from the teeth and jaw for the entire period they are involved in the athletic activity -- this can create dental and maxillofacial problems going forward due to the unnatural amount of pressure being exerted over time. Custom-fit Playsafe mouth guards are tightly fitted around the teeth to provide the highest level of protection. Because of this unique fit, the mouth guard stays in the mouth without the wearer having to clench down to keep it in place. This means that the mouth and jaw can remain in a safe, natural position that doesn't put any undue pressure on the teeth and jaw.

The Playsafe mouth guards are fairly inexpensive and last for years. They can be made in a variety of colors, too! They are an investment well worth making to prevent dental and maxillofacial injuries for you or your loved ones. All that's needed a is a quick dental impression and we can have the mouth guard made for you in a matter of days -- it's that easy! We can always fit in a patient for a Playsafe mouth guard, so call us today (305) 670-9755.