If you or your child participate in fall sports, a mouthguard should be worn during practice and games. The National Federation of State High School Associations require mouthguards for the following contact sports: football, field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse. Mouthguards can protect an athlete against orofacial injuries. According to the Academy for Sports Dentistry, studies have shown that customized mouthguards can offer greater protection than store-bought, non-customized mouthguards against these types of injuries.
A Better Fit
When it comes to protecting your own or your child’s smile with a mouthguard, the way it fits can make all the difference. To make a custom-fit mouthguard, your dentist will take a precise mold of the mouth. This mold will then be used to create the customized mouthguard that will perfectly fit the specific curves and size of the mouth. Just millimeters of space between the mouthguard and the teeth can decrease the amount of protection provided by the mouthguard. The more snug the fit of the mouthguard against the teeth, the better able the mouthguard can absorb the shock from a physical blow.
Protection Against Concussions
Mouthguards can protect more than just the teeth, mouth, and jaw. While it is extremely important to protect the teeth and mouth, a custom mouthguard can also better protect the brain from injury. The brain sits right above the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in your jaw. The TMJ is the hinge joint of your jaw that controls chewing, speaking, and biting by moving up and down, side to side, and back and forth. When sustaining a mouth injury, this joint can be a conductor that sends the hit to the brain. A properly fitting mouthguard can absorb most of this energy to prevent or lessen the severity of a potential brain injury. A study in 2014 revealed that concussions were less likely to occur in student football players wearing custom-made mouthguards than store-bought mouthguards.
A custom mouthguard can offer greater protection
Do you or your child wear a custom mouthguard during contact sports? To schedule a consultation by calling Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry of Kansas City, MO, today at 816-897-4288.