The use of teeth guards in sports

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By Annabelle Carter-Short

Sports is a physical activity where coming in contact with fellow sportspeople is inevitable. It’s vital to ensure the safety of every sportsperson each time they play games. Dental damage is one of the most significant sports injuries and among the most expensive to treat.

A teeth guard protects you from dental injuries in a sporting activity. You should attach the same importance that to a teeth guard you give to any other sporting gear you must wear before going into your field of play.

You can think of a teeth guard the same way a soccer player would not consider going in for a game without his shin guards, or a cricket player without his thigh, arm or chest guard, or helmet.

Anyone can suffer dental injuries during sports activities; that’s why people should always have teeth guards during sports. Below, we examine some points to know about teeth guards. Let’s find out together.

Identifying Teeth Guards

Teeth guards are devices made for oral use. They’re manufactured from soft plastics. The aim of using one is to protect your gums and teeth from sports injuries. You may consider them as “crash helmets” for jaws and teeth during sports.

Types of Teeth Guards

  • The Stock

This type is the most available and affordable teeth guard, easily found in most sporting goods stores and pharmacies. They have a limited range of size options, and usually do not provide a tight fit.

  • The Boil-and-Bite

These are also available at pharmacies and are relatively affordable. Unlike the stock teeth guards that come in sizes, this comes as a single unit, which you customise to fit your teeth by boiling the teeth guard until it softens. Then you place it over the front of your teeth and bite down.

  • Custom-Made

Your dentist provides this for you directly, by taking a mould of your teeth and using it to create a teeth guard specifically for your teeth structure. This type of teeth guard provides an adequate fit for you because the specific design is for your use.

Sports that require the use of teeth guards

Teeth guards are necessary for specific sports activities with risks of injuries that can impact the face. A teeth guard will help protect your teeth and prevent injuries on your lips and tongue.

Importance of wearing teeth guards for sport

The primary goal of sports activities is to, among other things, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment for participants and fans.

Any form of injury will defeat the objective of sports, which proves the need to protect from dental injuries, among other types of accidents. Wearing a teeth guard in sports will serve the following purpose:

  • Protect your teeth from being knocked out

In contact sports, a sportsperson can lose an entire tooth or teeth. A displaced tooth can be re-implanted or replaced by a dentist, which will cost huge sums. Consider protecting yourself against harm by utilising measures that’ll prevent your teeth from being knocked out.

If your tooth gets displaced, make sure not to touch the root of the tooth, rinse with water, and seek dental assistance immediately. Teeth displacement injury can be prevented entirely by using a teeth guard.

  • Protect yourself from face and mouth injury

Face and mouth injuries can occur from sports and may include bruising or cut to the lips, face, or tongue. You can prevent facial and mouth sores by using teeth guards.

That said, it’s essential to consult a physician when an injury occurs.

  • Use a teeth guard to prevent fracture

Often, in high contact sports, we see teeth breaking or teeth getting chipped. If a tooth fracture occurs, the first action should be to control bleeding by biting a clean towel or a cloth.

It’s expensive, and sometimes impossible, to replace broken teeth, which is why it’s safer to use a teeth guard to prevent fracture. Wear your teeth guard properly, to support the teeth, and ensure they aren’t exposed during contact.

Taking Care of Your Teeth Guard

It’s necessary that you keep your teeth guard clean always, and that you protect it from damage to enable it last longer. These few steps will help you take care of your teeth guard:

  • Cleaning & maintaining your teeth guard.

Clean your teeth guard with fresh water and a mouth wash after each use. Don’t use hot water as it might warp its shape.

  • Store your teeth guard

Store in a clean and well ventilated plastic container. Be sure the canister is not in contact with heat or direct sunlight.

  • Examine your teeth guard regularly.

Replace once it’s damaged or loses its grip. You can get a teeth guard custom designed for you as that would last longer.

  • Get your dentist involved.

If you have any appointment with a dentist, go along with your teeth guard so they can ensure it still fits properly.

Conclusion

Safety in sports is crucial. It’s up to you to ensure that you adhere to the safest practices in all sporting activities. Dental injuries are amongst the worstย  forms of sports injuries, and every effort should be made to avoid them.

You’ve seen the importance of using teeth guards. If you need one, go ahead and get it. Also, do your best to maintain it. Remember, a teeth guard provides a guarantee against dental injury in sports.

Sources:
www.gladiatorguards.com/know-your-protection-how-do-mouthguards-actually-protect-athletes
www.wikihow.com/Fit-a-Mouth-Guard
www.proteethguard.com


Annabelle Carter Short is a writer and seamstress of more than seven years. When not working, sheโ€™s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. Annabelle enjoys crafting and DIY projects with her two kids. She is passionate about autism and she homeschools her autistic son. She also works with few organisations to provide the best resources for raising and educating a special needs child.

Peninsula Kids – Autumn 2021

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