Have you ever watched a boxing match? Ever noticed that all professional boxers wear mouth guards? You might think they need it because they are getting punched in the face, and other sports may not need it. You’d be wrong. Many other sports are just as risky for your teeth as boxing. So, if you play any physical sport, irrespective of whether there are chances of you getting your teeth smacked by your opponent, you should consider wearing mouth guards to protect your teeth.
Why Should You Wear Mouth guards?
According to the American Dental Association, mouth guards can prevent over 200,000 dental injuries. If you play any intensive sport, be it hockey, football, or cycling, you should get yourself a mouth guard, even if the sport does not mandate it. Here are some other beneficial reasons why you need to use a mouth guard for your next sporting venture.
They Prevent Chipped Teeth
There is always a chance to get hit in the face by something hard. It may be a ball or a hockey puck, a flying bat that the bats-person let go, or even another player’s knee or elbow. They not only hurt a lot but there is also a chance of them breaking your teeth. Plus, you can always trip and fall face first, damaging your teeth. A mouth guard can protect your teeth in all such cases.
They Protect Your Lips
After your teeth, the lips are the second most vulnerable part of your face that can get hurt. A sudden strike on your face can cause the jaw to push against the mouth, and your lips may get between the teeth and get cut. Cut lips can be painful, and they may leave a permanent scar on the lips. Here, too, mouth guards help as they prevent your lower and upper teeth from impacting hard with each other, in turn, preventing bitten lips.
They Prevent Jaw Damage
As hard as it may bite, your jaw is still quite fragile. If something hard—like someone’s knee or a football, hits your jaw, it can severely injure the jaw joints and even dislodge your lower jaw. Damaged jaws hurt a lot and take weeks and even months to heal completely. Mouth guards protect your jaw from such damages by keeping your lower jaw in place during the time of impact, significantly reducing the chance of jaw trauma.
They Help Redistribute Force to the Head
A surprising benefit of mouth guards is that they can significantly reduce the trauma caused to your head in case of a sports accident. When something hits your head, the mouth guard helps absorb and distribute some of the impacts, thereby stabilizing your head and neck and limiting the jaw’s movement. The result? Fewer chances of concussion or other severe injuries.
What Are the Types of Mouth Guards?
Mouth guards come in three types, and you can choose one of them depending on your sport and budget. Here they are.
Custom-made Mouth Guards
Firstly, there are the custom-made ones that your local orthodontist can prepare for you. These are the perfect option if you have a unique shape of teeth or braces, which is most often the case. They offer the best protection for your teeth that other regular types of mouth guards do not offer. Plus, they are comfortable to wear. The only downside is that they are a bit expensive as they require custom measurements and design process.
Stock Mouth Guards
These are the most basic types of mouth guards that you can buy from your local pharmacy. They are cheap, costing around $10 to $15. Since they are ready to wear, they are made to fit all shapes and sizes of mouth, which may be a downside for you as they may not perfectly fit your teeth’s shape. Plus, their one-size-fits-all feature makes them bulky, which can make it difficult to talk.
Boil and Bite Mouth Guards
These are the best types of mouth guards if you don’t want to break your bank. They are flexible, and they take the shape of your teeth (to some extent). All you have to do is dip them in hot water for a minute, followed by putting them in your mouth and biting hard on them—hence the name, boil and bite. They fit snugly and are an excellent fit for most sports.
If you play sports, you should invest in mouth guards. A little cost upfront can save you a lot of pain and money for treatment later if you ever get hurt while playing. Remember to replace your mouth guard at the start of every season, as they can get worn out after repetitive use.