According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, sports accidents are responsible for 10% to 39% of dental injuries in children. Most of these injuries are preventable with the wearing of a simple, properly fitted mouth guard.
“Mouthguards can significantly reduce the risk of mouth injuries by acting as a cushion that absorbs the impact from a blow to the mouth or jaw,” according to the Ontario Dental Association. As well traumatic impacts in athletes where a mouthguard is worn has been shown to dramatically reduce concussion symptoms.
Over the counter mouth guards may be somewhat effective. However, a mouth guard which is properly designed by a dentist is considerably less likely to have adverse affects. Many factors are taken into account when designing a mouth guard. The age of the patient, the ‘bite’, size of the patient, jaw type of patient, orthodontic appliances, past injuries are just a few of the factors.
Remember, in sports where mouth guards are mandatory make sure you wear an appliance which is designed just for you. In other contact or higher risk sports (skate boarding, cycling, inline skating…) keep in mind that a bit of prevention can eliminate a lot of inconvenience and expense.
By Dr Perelgut