Sports & Mouthguards

Each year, youths take part in more and more sports. It’s actually estimated that about 20 to 25 million teens participate in some kind of competitive sports. With the growth in participation, the chances for injuries have also steadily increased.

Types of Dental Injuries

Dental injuries can be grouped into the following three categories:

1) Dental Fractures

These are also known as root factures, chipped teeth or broken teeth. If you can, stabilize the portion of the tooth that is still intact in the mouth by biting on a washcloth or a towel. Doing this will help control the bleeding.

The other tooth pieces should be immediately transported to a dentist. You can transfer the pieces of tooth in milk, Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution, saline soaked gauze or under your persons tongue.

2) Dental Avulsions

This usually means the entire tooth is gone. Even the root is out of the mouth. Don’t mess with the tooth’s root. Only touch the crown of the tooth.

Do not scrub, sterilize the tooth or brush it in any way. If the tooth happens to get dirty, you may gently rinse it with water. But, again, do not brush it.

If the tooth can be placed back in the socket, do that. Simply bite down on a washcloth or a towel to keep it in place. If the tooth is not able to be put back in the socket, then transport the tooth to the dentist immediately.

3) Dental Luxation

Luxation usually happens when the tooth is in the socket, but in the wrong position.

Preventing Tooth Injuries during Sports

But, to prevent most too injuries, it is wise to wear a mouth guard when playing any sports to help protect your teeth. There are three different mouth guards to choose from:

1) Stock Mouth Guards

Stock mouth guards are tool you can wear right out of the package. They are very economical and can be found in mostly all sports stores and even some department stores. However, they are one size fits all. So, there really is nothing you can do to adjust them to your mouth. Also, most dentists don’t endorse using them.

2) Boil & Bite Mouth Protectors

Boil and bite mouth protectors can also be found at sporting goods stores. However, they allow a much more suitable fit rather than stock mouth guards.

This mouth guard is composed of thermoplastic material. Before using, you will need to let it sit in hot water to unstiffen the material. Then, you place the mouth guard in your mouth and shape it around your teeth using a finger or your tongue. Hence the name, “boil and bite.”

3) Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards

These are exclusively designed in a laboratory or your dentist’s office. They’re very similar to the boil and bite mouth guards. The dentist will make a mold of your teeth using a unique material, and use it to custom make the mouth guard just for you. These provide better comfort to your teeth.

Mostly all mouth guards protect your upper teeth only. However, in some cases, your dentist may make you a mouth guard for your lower teeth, too. Your dentist can help you figure out the perfect mouth guard for your case. A great mouth guard should be durable, comfortable, and easy to clean, and worn while participating in sports.

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