Athletic mouth guards are made of soft plastic. They are adapted to fit comfortably over the upper teeth. Mouth guards are important because the average cost of dental treatment over a lifetime for one tooth lost is approximately $5,000. When it comes to sports equipment, mouth guards are a priority. They protect not only the teeth but the lips, cheeks and tongue. They also help protect a person from concussions and jaw fractures.
When should someone wear a mouth guard?
People should wear a mouth guard whenever they are involved in an activity with a risk of falls or of head contact with other players or equipment. This includes football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, skateboarding, even gymnastics. We usually think of football and hockey as the most dangerous sports for teeth but nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball.
How does one choose a mouth guard?
Any mouth guard is better than no mouth guard. However, it is important to choose a mouth guard that fits comfortably. If a mouth guard interferes with breathing or speech, or if it feels bulky, it won’t be worn. The best way to ensure the proper protection, fit and comfort is to have a mouth guard custom- fitted by a professional.
Whatever your age or sport, mouth guards are an important part of sports safety and your exercise routine. Do what you can to protect your smile and preserve your health.