With summer in full in swing, Clevelanders are spending more time outdoors. Whether you’re tossing around a frisbee, playing in a softball league, skateboarding or rock climbing, a mouthguard should be your favorite new accessory.
Everyone can benefit from using a mouthguard, even for casual recreation. About one-third of all injuries to the mouth and face stem from playing sports. Accidents can happen to the most careful people too, so why risk your smile when a solution is readily available?
Here’s why we, at Fioritto Dental, recommend protecting your teeth anytime you’re enjoying summertime sports.
What kind of protection do mouthguards offer?
- Reduce the likelihood of breaking or losing teeth: Most of us associate mouthguards with protecting against cosmetic damage. Breaking or losing teeth may require extensive dental treatment. Mouthguards absorb some of the shock, making it less likely the teeth will be knocked out or broken.
- Reduce the risk of root damage: When teeth shift or are displaced, it can restrict blood flow to the tooth and damage the tooth’s root. Over time, the tooth may die. If the tooth dies, bacteria can spread to other teeth and to your jaw. Protecting teeth with a mouthguard reduces the likelihood your teeth shift or break, therefore reducing the risk of root damage.
- Protect against soft tissue damage: Mouthguards don’t just protect your teeth; they can also ensure your lips and cheeks aren’t injured at impact. The mouthguard forms a shield around the teeth, so you’re less likely to bite and scrape your soft tissues during impact.
- Prevent fractures: In addition to broken teeth, sports injuries can also fracture the jaw. Mouthguards absorb shock and may prevent fractures to your upper and lower jawbones.
- Protect against concussions: Finally, mouthguards can even help prevent concussions. A mouthguard helps to stabilize the jaw and hold it in place. Their shock absorbing capabilities work hand in hand with helmets to avoid excess head trauma.
What kind of mouthguard should I choose?
There are three types of mouthguards. The mouthguard your dentist at Fioritto Family Dental will recommend depends on the sporting activities in which you participate. We’ll also ensure the mouthguard is best suited for your teeth and jaw.
- Stock: Stock mouth guards are the cheapest option. They are pre-made in various sizes, ranging from child to adult. These generic mouthguards are usually better than nothing, but they’re not particularly comfortable, and do not offer as much protection as custom-made mouthguards.
- Boil-and-bite: Boil-and-bite mouthguards offer a custom fit, but are not custom made. The mouthguard is briefly boiled in water, and the user then bites down to mold the guard around their teeth. This is a better option than stock mouthguards, although serious athletes should consider investing in custom guards.
- Custom: Finally, custom mouthguards are made uniquely for you. Your Fioritto Family dentist will take an impression of your teeth and gums to create a mouthguard that will perfectly fit your mouth.
Whether you need a custom mouthguard, or simply want advice from your dentist, we’re happy to help. Call Fioritto Dental today to schedule an appointment.