Both kids and adults should wear mouthguards during activities that put them at risk for injuries (This includes hockey, football, basketball, mountain biking, skateboarding, competitive cheerleading, and many other sports and activities.)
Why? A mouthguard protects your teeth and your smile. Once a tooth is injured or broken, it is with you for a lifetime. It may also help a little bit to protect you against a “busted lip”, though this is not certain.
Mouthguards also reduce the chance of concussions or lessen the severity of a concussion if you do get one. Girls as well as boys are subject to concussions across all sports. One study showed that girls experience symptoms of concussions almost twice as often as boys.
There are many mouthguards out there. Some are better than others for protecting your smile! Custom-made ones (by your dentist) offer the best protection, fit more comfortably and stay in place better, allowing you to talk and breathe easily. Some types will allow for growing jaws and erupting teeth to be accommodated as they happen. The least effective ones are the cheap “boil and bite” kind. They often get too thin to provide any protection during the process used to fit them to your mouth.
Whatever mouthguard you get, treat it like a piece of equipment—don’t chew on it, don’t have it hanging out of your mouth like Steph Curry—and it will last for quite a while. However, even the best cared for mouthguards do eventually wear out and need to be replaced. You should bring your mouthguard to your dental visit to make sure it continues to provide the protection you need!
You can learn more about mouthguards and sports injuries in the patient education section of my website www.drjrobb.com or by clicking on these links: Mouthguards for Adults, Mouthguards for Children, Traumatic Dental Injuries
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees both adults and children at her office located at 1320 Cooper Foster Park Rd., Lorain, OH 44053. Call 440-960-1940.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb