If you get a literal kick in the teeth, you’ll figuratively feel like you’ve gotten a kick in the teeth. A kick in the teeth is a saying used to mean an unplanned surprise or setback. Being hit in the mouth or teeth certainly qualifies!
An injury to your tooth is an injury you have for the rest of your life. Yes, we can do repairs to your tooth to make it look more natural, but the repaired area is not quite the same as your natural tooth. Sometimes the break will need a root canal right away; other times the trauma to the tooth will lead to a root canal many years later.
You’d probably suspect that activities like football or martial arts have a high chance of taking a hit to the mouth. Surprisingly though, most of the sports injuries I’ve seen have come from basketball or wrestling matches/horseplay between siblings. I even had one mother tell me she was getting a mouthguard for her daughter who is on a competitive cheerleading squad!
The best way to protect your teeth is to wear a professionally made mouthguard when you are doing any sport or activity that has the potential for contact.
Yes, you can buy one much cheaper at the sporting goods store, but often the less expensive ones do not protect as well. And, if cared for properly, a professionally made mouthguard will last a long time. There is also some evidence that a properly made professional mouthguard might help decrease the chance of having a concussion. Also, the professionally made ones fit much better, so you can breathe and speak better while wearing it.
Professionally made mouthguards have several thicknesses and protective levels to choose from. Which one is best for you depends on how you plan to use it. The middle of the line model is about $150.00 for a solid color one. (More than one color and the lab charges a fee for the additional color.)
Remember, mouthguards aren’t just for football!
*Note: The information in this article is not meant to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare professionals.
Jennifer G. Robb, DMD is a general dentist with an office at 1320 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH