Dental associations warn that everyone who participates in contact sports or any activity that could potentially damage their teeth should wear a mouthguard. However, many people tend to rebel against what they know is in their best interest - it's human nature. However, we're here to try to inspire you with the facts, so that you understand why it is so important.
Mouthguards are mandatory for sports that pose a high risk of injury, including boxing, hockey, and football. If you or your child engage in volleyball, soccer, wrestling, softball, baseball, or basketball, a mouthguard can help prevent injuries. Colgate Professional performed a study that showed that a mouthguard can prevent well over two hundred thousand oral injuries per year.
Why People Don't Like to Wear Mouthguards
Sometimes, you may not realize that activity poses a threat to your teeth, and therefore requires a mouthguard. There's a stage at which it is "cool" for teenagers to wear mouthguards, but peer pressure often causes them to rather risk a toothless grin than the mortification of being seen with a mouthguard.
Then of course, some people find mouthguards to be uncomfortable, or that it interferes with their breathing and speech. However, there are many more reasons to wear them. Hopefully, these reasons can help convince your children to wear mouthguards too.
1. Mouthguards help prevent broken teeth
According to Colgate Professional, an athlete who doesn't wear a mouthguard typically opens him or herself to broken teeth, cheek and lip injuries, fractured crowns or bridgework, root damage, concussions, and fractured jaws.
If a tooth fractures while wearing a mouthguard, it often can be saved.
2. Mouthguards can prevent tooth displacement
Losing a tooth is bad enough, but when it is displaced it will probably move around easily afterward. It will become loose and sensitive. A mouthguard can prevent this by cushioning the teeth.
3. Mouthguards can prevent missing teeth
Having a tooth knocked out is pretty painful, and having a large gap can do a lot of damage to one's confidence.
However, you can prevent this by wearing a mouthguard.
4. Mouthguards can help prevent soft tissue injuries
The jaw has tremendous force, and it is not unusual for someone to accidentally bite their own lips and cheeks. However, a mouthguard that covers the sharp surfaces can help protect your tongue, lips, and cheeks.
5. Mouthguards may help prevent concussions
While there is some controversy surrounding the issue, a mouthguard places padding between the maxilla and the mandible, which should lessen the force at which the mandible pushes up on the skull, thus reducing the risk of concussion.
6. Mouthguards can help prevent a broken jaw
A blow to the head causes your teeth to clang together, with no room for movement in between. However, a mouthguard creates a layer of padding which might save your jaw. So save yourself from weeks or months of soup and jello following jaw surgery by wearing a mouthguard.
Prevention is always better than cure, and a chipped piece of tooth is gone forever. Injuries are much more inconvenient than wearing a mouthguard for an hour or two a few times a week, and it will have a much bigger impact on your appearance too. Speak to your dentist today about ways to make wearing a mouthguard easier.