With football, soccer, and other sports starting back up this month, it is a good time to review the importance of your children (or you) wearing mouth guards. Football is a high contact sport and it is logical that participants protect their teeth, gums, and jaw bone from injury. However, sports like soccer, basketball and volleyball can involve high impact collisions, but mouth guards are not yet required. Protecting your children with sports mouth guards lowers the threat of injury to their teeth, and new evidence is suggesting that it may even reduce the risk of concussions.
A broken or chipped tooth that results from facial trauma can lead to much larger and more expensive issues. If the damage is small enough, a filling can be placed on the tooth to regain its original shape and color. More traumatic injuries may require root canals, crowns or even loss of the tooth. This can cost thousands of dollars and take months to properly fix. And no matter how big or how small, the repaired tooth will never be as strong as the original tooth. Having your dentist custom fit a mouth guard can greatly lower the chances of injuring your teeth without inhibiting your ability to compete. And compared to the over the counter guards, breathing can be markedly easier because you don’t have to worry about holding the guard against your teeth.
While there is no definitive way to completely eliminate the risk of concussions in contact sports, there is some evidence that suggests a properly fitting mouth guard can help reduce the probability. The logic suggests that the mouth guard limits some of the forces applied to the head and neck during upward contact with the chin. There are no current studies that establish a direct correlation with complete certainty, but the absence of proof is not necessarily proof of absence. And anything we can do to reduce the risk of head injuries is always a good thing.
Parents will do so many things to protect their kids, and we believe wearing a custom fitted sports mouth guard is an easy step in reinforcing their safety in nearly all sports. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding mouth guards or the differences between custom fitted guards and over the counter mouth guards.
For more information of dental health and ways to help protect your children’s teeth, visit us at www.brownandkupper.com.
Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.