Want to keep your smile safe? The best investment in protecting your teeth from trauma is with a professional mouthguard. Sports injuries are one of the leading causes of tooth trauma in the US, and the best protection from your teeth is a professionally fitted mouthguard. Mouthguards should be worn for most sports, even if it’s a non-contact sport. Whenever people are competing, they will work hard to get ahead, and this can lead to trauma.
Mouthguards Recommended for Most Sports
People often think that mouthguards are only recommended for contact sports. While contact sports can definitely lead to many serious tooth injuries, they aren’t the only sports that lead to tooth trauma. In fact the American Dental Association recommends that you wear a mouthguard when competing in all these sports:
- Equestrian events
- Field events
- Field hockey
- Ice hockey
- Inline skating
- Martial arts
- Sky Diving
- Water polo
- Weight lifting
Basically, any sport where you are moving fast, and potentially around other people who could interfere with your motion or collide with you, you should be wearing a mouthguard. Also, heavy balls, sticks, and other equipment that can damage your teeth are another good reason to wear a mouthguard.
Three Types of Mouthguards
It’s important to wear the right type of mouthguard. In general, there are three different kinds of mouthguards: stock, boil-and-bite, and custom.
Stock mouthguards are used as they come off the shelf. They are not fitted to your teeth at all, which can make them uncomfortable–and limit their protection. These mouthguards don’t stay on the teeth well, which means that they can actually come off and get lodged in your throat during competition.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are better because you fit them to your teeth by biting into them after a quick dip in boiling water. But since you’re not an expert at fitting, these may not properly fit your teeth. Plus, they offer limited protection and wear out quickly.
Professional mouthguards are properly fitted to your teeth. They offer the best protection. They are designed to be durable, so they can be worn for longer, which can make them less expensive overall.
Did you suffer a sports injury because you were wearing no mouthguard or a less protective type? Check out our emergency dentistry page to learn how we can help.