The foundation of our practice is general dentistry.
That means we cover the basics like dental cleanings and exams. That means we fill cavities and fight gum disease. It also means we offer fluoride treatments and dental sealants to protect your teeth.
And it means we can create custom-fitted athletic mouthguards for our patients.
Since April happens to be National Facial Protection Month, we want to explain why mouthguards are important for anyone in your family who plays sports. It doesn’t matter if they are in a youth league, part of a company team, or playing competitively in college.
If you live in or near Port Charlotte, FL, we welcome you to call our dentist office at 941-625-7877 or to contact us online. Let our team at Dietrich Dental Services help you protect your family’s smiles.
A Little History About Mouthguards
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the first athletic mouthguards were designed for boxers. Although they were around in the 1890s, they become more popular in the 1920s and 1930s after a match between Mike McTigue and Jack Sharkey.
According to reports on that match, McTigue was clearly ahead, but he wound up forfeiting due to a chipped tooth. The chipped tooth cut his lip, and when the bleeding didn’t stop, Sharkey was declared the victor.
Since then, mouthguards have become standard in many sports and various levels. Even so, there are many sports in which mouthguards are not required even though they are strongly recommended by the following organizations:
▸ American Dental Association
▸ American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
▸ Academy for Sports Dentistry
▸ American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
▸ American Association of Orthodontists
Athletic mouthguards can prevent a collision, fall, or injuries from happening. However, a mouthguard could help prevent you from suffering a dental emergency, like a broken or lost tooth.
Who Needs A Mouthguard Anyway?
According to organizations mentioned above, anyone who plays a high-impact sport should wear a mouthguard. Preferably, that should be a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard.
Before we discuss the different kinds of mouthguards, let’s explain what is considered a high-impact sport.
Any sport is considered high-impact if it meets any these criteria:
☐ It involves lots of physical contact between participants.
☐ It involves lots of jumping (and landing).
☐ It involves frequent changes in speed and direction.
Some sports are clearly on this list — football, hockey, wrestling, and rugby, to give a few examples.
You may not realize this also includes sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer, and gymnastics. In fact, basketball is the cause more dental injuries than any other sport for 13 to 17 year olds.
And you may be surprised to learn that mouthguards are recommended for baseball and softball, skateboarding, and bicycling, too. Baseball is the sport that causes the most dental injuries among 7 to 12 year olds.
It’s just something to consider with summer approaching.
What Kind Of Mouthguard Should You Get?
You have a lot of options, but it boils (no pun intended) down to three basic kinds.
Stock mouthguards come in standard sizes. They can’t be molded to fit your teeth, but they do provide minimal protection even if they may not be comfortable to wear.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are a step up. On the plus side, they can be molded somewhat to create a better fit. At the same time, they have some of the same problems as stock mouthguards.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards can be bulky. This means they can interfere with breathing, and they can make it difficult to communicate.
By coming to our dentist office in Port Charlotte, FL, you can get a custom-fitted mouthguard. These are created from a mold of your teeth. This means they are designed just for you.
That allows them to be made smaller, while still providing complete protection for your teeth. This makes them more comfortable to wear during practices and games. These won’t interfere with breathing or speaking either.
Caring For Your Mouthguard
No matter what kind of mouthguard you have, you need to care for it when it’s not being used.
That means rinsing it before and after each practice or game and washing it regularly as well.
Store it in a hard case with holes for ventilation so it can dry out. Don’t expose it to heat, since this may distort its shape and change how it fits.
And always check your mouthguard before and after each use for signs of wear and tear.
How To Get Mouthguards For Your Family
Call Dietrich Dental Services at 941-625-7877 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
Let us help your athletes stay in the game.