If you or your child play sports, especially contact sports that come with a greater risk for injuries, you know the importance of wearing the proper protective gear. Wearing the right types of protective gear allow you to play safely while also enjoying the sport you love. In addition to gear such as shin pads, elbow pads, and helmets, another crucial piece of protective equipment is a sports guard. At Summercrest Dental, we can provide you with a professionally made sports guard, which helps to protect your mouth from serious injuries or dental emergencies.
What is a Sports Guard?
A sports mouth guard is a piece of protective equipment that is designed to protect your teeth, your jawbone, and your intraoral tissues from serious harm while you play sports. It can protect your mouth in a variety of different situations including
|Colliding with another player, such as a tackle.
|Falling on the field.
|Being hit in the face with a piece of sports equipment, such as the ball.
Types of Sports Guards
There are a few different types of sports guards that you can choose from.
|Stock. A stock sports guard is the most affordable option. You can easily find these sports guards at most sporting goods stores. While affordable, they are pre-molded. This means that they may not fit your mouth properly. Wearing an ill-fitting sports guard can increase your risk for injury as well as interfere with breathing.
|Boil and bite. A boil and bite sports guard is another widely available option. This type of sports guard is made from a material that softens when exposed to boiling water. You bite into it to create a semi-custom fit.
|Custom. A custom sports guard is one that we create here in our office. We create it from impressions of your mouth, which allows us to create a sports guard that fits perfectly in your mouth. It is also made from high-quality materials. While a custom sports guard costs more than other options, it provides you with optimal protection.
Benefits of a Sports Guard
There are many benefits associated with wearing a sports guard.
|Your teeth are protected from chips, cracks, displacement, and avulsion.
|Your intraoral tissues are protected against lacerations and other contusions that can harm not just your soft tissues, but your nerves, blood vessels, and salivary glands and ducts as well.
|Your jawbone is protected against fracturing and dislocation.
|Your risk for concussions decreases.
|You save money. By preventing serious issues and injuries, you prevent the need for invasive, and costly, treatment.
Taking Care of Your Sports Guard
For your sports guard to provide you with optimal protection, it is important that you take good care of it. Your sports guard should be rinsed with water before and after every use. Every once in a while, clean it thoroughly with soap and water. It should be stored in a hard case with vents, which will allow airflow to prevent bacterial growth. Store your sports guard in a safe location. Do not leave it exposed to heat or direct sunlight, as these elements can cause warping, which greatly reduces its effectiveness. Inspect your sports guard periodically for damage. At the first sign of wear and tear, your sports guard should be replaced.
With a custom created sports guard, you can rest easy knowing that you, or your child, is protected from serious oral injuries while playing. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Summercrest Dental at (503) 649-7701 today.