May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and while exercise is good for everyone’s health, it’s important to make sure that your teeth are protected. Regardless of the sport or skill level, wearing a mouth guard can help to keep teeth, tongue, lips, jaw and face more secure from injury. Although contact sports may be higher-risk sports for injuries to the mouth, athletes in non-contact activities can certainly experience dental injuries too.
Wearing a mouth guard can help to reduce the risks. A mouth guard generally covers the upper teeth and can help cushion blows to the face and minimize the risk of broken teeth. The top teeth are more at danger as they protrude more; whereas the bottom teeth are somewhat more protected, as they are further back. A mouth protector is also a good way to protect the soft tissues of the lips, tongue, and cheek lining along with the face and jaw when properly fitted.
A mouth guard that has been custom made by a dentist is the best, as they are individually created for comfort and fit. However, there are other options if affordability is an issue. Boil and bite protectors are widely available at drugstores and sporting goods stores. These mouth guards are boiled to soften them, then inserted in the mouth and formed to the teeth.
Those who wear braces may find it particularly important to wear a mouth protector as the brackets could be damaged and the gums and cheeks injured. In fact, a mouth guard, which covers the lower teeth, may be suggested by the dentist if these teeth have braces. Additionally, retainers and other removable appliances shouldn’t be worn during participation in sports.
Losing a tooth could affect not only the appearance of a smile but also talking and eating. Therefore, preventing injuries to the mouth and face is vital during organized sports and other recreational activities. Most athletes are aware of the benefits of good health and taking care of their oral health by protecting the teeth and mouth should be an important part of it.
If would like more information about protecting your teeth and mouth with a mouth guard while participating in sports, Dr. Heidi Finkelstein and her caring staff at My Plantation Dentist can help. To schedule your appointment, please contact us today at 954-584-1030.