Sports injuries dental facts and mouthguard protection

Here is some useful information about mouthguards that will help you recognise the importance of wearing a mouthguard when you are playing sport. In particular, our Ballarat dentists highly recommend a mouthguard that provides a good-fit to ensure the impact loads are disperses effectively, to give you maximum protection. The following statistics may surprise you.

More than 5 million teeth are injured or knocked out every year.
Sports related injuries account for 3 times more facial and dental injuries than violence or traffic accident.
Up to 40% of all dental injuries are related to sports.
50% of children and teens will suffer at least one traumatic injury to a tooth with sporting activities as the main cause.

The good news!

Athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to their teeth when not wearing a mouth guard. Mouth guards’ work amazingly well when worn!
80% of traumatic dental injuries occur to the top front teeth, which are could have been protected and covered by a mouth guard.
Our Ballarat dentists at Lydiard St Dental Clinic can make a custom fit mouthguard tailored to your needs.
Our custom fit mouthguard provide superior protection and maximum comfort compared to other mouthguards.

The following is the Australian Dental Association advice on the damage done and how mouthguards work:

The damage done

Mouthguards can protect you from some serious sporting injuries, such as broken jaws, fractured, cracked or knocked-out teeth, cut lips and tongues.

And you don’t just have to be playing obvious contact sports like rugby union, rugby league, AFL, hockey and boxing to sustain those kinds of injuries. Even non-contact sports like cricket, basketball, netball, touch football, skateboarding and soccer, carry a real risk of accidental collision, and resulting dental trauma.

If you play a contact sport, and a lot of Aussies do, you risk injuring your teeth. These sorts of injuries are often difficult to treat, and often involve a lifetime of expense.

How a mouthguard works

A custom-fitted mouthguard works by absorbing and spreading the impact of the damaging blow, and is fabricated based on an impression of your teeth and jaw taken by your dentist.

A mouthguard that is custom-fitted by your dentist is far superior to an over-the-counter mouthguard because it’s specially designed to fit the exact contours of your mouth, is resilient, balances your bite and allows speech and normal breathing. If properly used, stored, and checked by your dentist every year, a custom-fitted mouthguard should last several seasons.

In contrast, self-fitted, over-the-counter mouthguards, which include what are commonly known as boil-and-bite mouthguards, should not be used. They do not protect the teeth, are loosely fitted and impede breathing and speaking. Custom-fitted mouthguards, by virtue of their exact fit, let you talk normally, don’t restrict your breathing and stay firmly in place, allowing you to concentrate on playing the sport you love. You should consider it a mandatory part of your sporting equipment, no matter your age or experience.

To keep your mouthguard in tip-top working order, you’ll need to keep it out of the sun, wash it in cold water after use, keep on the supplied plastic model cast and get your dentist to make sure it’s still OK when you go in for your regular check-ups.

Only dental professionals can design and manufacture a custom-fitted mouthguard that provides adequate protection.

Your teeth are precious and it is incredibly important to protect them. Feel good about wearing one and no one will give it a second thought! Wearing a mouthguard avoids costly treatment! As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

If you have any concerns or questions regarding protecting one of your most valuable asset – your smile, feel free to speak to one of our friendly staff at Lydiard St Dental Clinic. We would be more than happy to help.

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