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Using Mouthguards to Prevent Sports Injuries

Oct 14 • 2 minute read

 
Dr. Shafer is a proud member of the Academy for Sports Dentistry and he enjoys blending his passion for sports and dentistry. Because of this, he is happy to provide custom dental mouthguards, also known as sport guards, to his active patients of all ages.

 

What is a sports mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a shield made of a rubbery polymer held in the mouth to protect the teeth, gums, and lips while playing sports. Mouthguards can be purchased over the counter, and these types are known as boil-and-bite mouthguards. Their cost is low, but off-the-shelf mouthguards are made of a thinner plastic and they will not fit exactly, so they offer less protection.
 
However, at Good Life Dentistry, we create custom mouth guards for our patients because they are a better fit, more comfortable, longer-lasting, and offer better protection. Using our Ministar Thermoformer, we can make mouth guards in just one day in-office.
 
You might only think of using a mouth guard for just football or ice hockey. But sports injuries don't only happen in contact sports. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends a mouthguard for all children and youth participating in any organized sports activities. And the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends wearing a properly-fitted mouthguard for all athletes of all ages and for for several sports, including wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, skiing, skateboarding, gymnastics, and more.


What mouth injuries can be prevented by wearing a sport mouth guard?

Whether they're soccer goalies or softball in-fielders, when athletes fall hard or take a blow to the face they can experience:
  • cracked teeth: teeth broken by a blow or by biting down hard
  • fractured tooth roots: tooth roots broken by a blow or by biting down hard
  • luxation: teeth dislocated from the jaw bone due to a blow or fall
  • avulsion: teeth dislodged entirely from the jaw bone due to a blow or fall
  • lip lacerations: a blow forcing teeth to cut through the lips

 

How can a mouthguard prevent sports injuries?

A mouthguard distributes forces so that a single tooth isn't taking the brunt of a hit. It also covers the biting surface and cushions against the impact to protect teeth from damaging each other. If an athlete is in wire braces, a mouthguard can protect their teeth AND the expensive orthodontia in their mouth. There is also evidence that mouthguards may help prevent traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions.
 
 
Whatever sport you're into, consider how a mouthguard could protect your teeth and face. Our Beaverton dental team is here to help!

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