Experts say that when Alexandre Bilodeau finished his Olympic freestyle moguls event to win the gold medal, the bright white of his mouth guard couldn’t have been a better advertisement for the importance of wearing mouthguards. Youth around the world witnessed one of their idols wearing that dental hardware – so it immediately became the “cool” thing to do!
Smashing face-first into hard-packed snow or ice can cause a range of injuries, from broken or dislodged teeth, to a lacerated tongue and lips, even a fractured jaw. While a mouthguard does not offer 100 percent protection, it can help provide a reduction in the degree of injury caused to the mouth area.
Mouth guards provide a cushion between the teeth and extra protection so that when the upper and lower chompers slam together – such as what could happen while skiers bump down moguls, or when playing other sports – they may minimize or prevent many injuries.
If you don’t think that this is a problem, read on: More than 5 million teeth are knocked out yearly, and $500 million is spent on replacing these teeth! Combine that statistic with this: 13-39% of all dental injuries are sports related. And, males are traumatized twice as often as females. Young children, in particular, often sustain damaged or dislodged teeth, fractured jaws and lacerated lips when participating in sports.
Convinced yet? You probably have other questions but just know this; the best choice is a guard custom-made by your dentist. Ask Dr. Jackie about a mouthguard for everyone in your family the next time you’re in!
In what types of sports should I wear a mouth guard? Anytime there is a strong chance for contact with other participants or hard surfaces, it is advisable to wear a mouth guard. Players who participate in:
- softball & baseball
- martial arts
should ALWAYS have a mouth guard in place. Even kids just jumping on a trampoline should wear one! FACT: Skiing, bicycling and soccer are the three most frequent causes of sports accidents! Custom-made mouth protectors offer the best protection for:
- the chance of concussion and brain damage
- the chance of cuts, bruises, and disfigurement to the mouth and face
- the chance of jaw dislocation and jaw fracturing
- the chance of teeth being lost or fractured
Custom made mouthguard are the most comfortable and are the least likely to interfere with speech or breathing.