Many of our patients (both adults and children) participate in a variety of sports activities. The need for safety equipment is obvious, including dental protection. With or without braces, dental protection is critical, and mouthguards form an essential component of your dental safety.
In a study published in Athletic Training, the highest dental injury rate occurred in basketball, followed by ice hockey, lacrosse, football, soccer, baseball and volleyball. As well, researchers at the National Institute of Dental Research have shown that 11-18% percent of all sports related injuries are to the face.
The Canadian and American Dental Associations recommend the use of mouthguards when participating in the following sports:
Acrobatics, Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Cycling, Discus, Equestrian, Field Hockey, Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Lacrosse, Martial Arts, Motocross, Racquetball, Rugby, Shotput, Skateboarding, Skiing, Skydiving, Soccer, Squash, Surfing, Trampoline, Tennis, Volleyball, Waterpolo, Weightlifting, Wrestling.
Mouthguards help prevent injury to not only the teeth, but also the mouth, lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, T-M (jaw) joint and even the brain. This is because a force applied to the lower jaw is transmitted directly to the skull base and brain through the jaw joint resulting in possible injuries to the jaw or even concussion.
Custom fitted mouthguards (made by your Dentist or Orthodontist) may be the most effective in preventing and reducing injuries. During orthodontic treatment however, a “formable” mouthguard will be needed since the teeth are changing positions over time. We recommend the use of a non-conforming thermoplastic sports mouthguard with a high Energy Absorption Index (EAI) until your treatment has ended. Once orthodontic treatment is complete, your Dentist or Orthodontist can make you a custom fitted mouthguard, which will not only protect your newly corrected teeth from sports injury, but will also enhance the effects of your retainers!