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Mouthguards Are Essential Athletic Equipment

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mouthguards are essential athletic equipment

We know you probably don’t constantly skim the news stories for dentistry-related issues, but the staff at Sunridge Landing Dental sure do. It’s amazing how often such stories come up. One classic example of this phenomenon is the prevalence of stories about oral injuries suffered in sports in Alberta.

In January 2020, the University of Calgary issued a release describing the risk of teeth injuries and concussions in youth hockey and, most importantly, the role of mouth guards you can obtain from a dentist in NE Calgary in protecting athletes from both. Is e-scootering a sport? (Is it even a word?) If it is, then you might have noticed September 2020 news reports about a spike in dental injuries related to using e-scooters and e-bikes. These sorts of stories aren’t new, of course. A February 2018 study reported in the journal Dental Traumatology examined trends in hockey-related oral injuries in Alberta over 15 years.

Here’s why our staff pays so much attention to these types of stories. First, because you need to know the risks associated with sports injuries. But, even more importantly, because a dental clinic near you can help to protect your children from these risks as simply as by providing mouth guards in NE Calgary. Here’s what you need to know about mouth guards to protect your child’s mouth and teeth.

How do mouth guards work?

A sports mouth guard from a dental clinic near you is a thick plastic device that fits over your teeth just like a dental tray used in a dental office. Mouth guards act as shock absorbers and impose a physical impact barrier between the teeth in your upper and lower jaws, and protect your teeth from impacts by everything from elbows, to pucks, to sticks, goalposts and more.

Injuries to teeth are among the most common sports-related injuries sustained in Alberta every year. Mouth guards from a dentist in NE Calgary prevent thousands of teeth injuries annually. In many sports, leagues, and age ranges, mouth guards are mandatory equipment. Even if they’re not mandatory, the staff at a dental clinic near you strongly recommend them.

Who should wear a mouth guard?

Any athlete who participates in sports that pose a risk of injury to your lips, tongue, face, teeth and jaw should wear a mouth guard. High contact sports that invite the risk of such injuries include obvious ones like hockey, football, rugby and lacrosse. Similar risks are posed by athletes participating in other sports like lacrosse, baseball and softball, soccer, martial arts, wrestling and boxing, and even volleyball and basketball.

Wearing a mouth guard will help to reduce the risk of: chipped and broken teeth; having teeth knocked out; nerve and root damage; cuts and bruises to your lips and cheeks; a fractured jaw; damaged crowns, bridges and other dental work; and concussions.

Are all mouth guards the same?

Mouth guards are available in several formats, including pre-formed off-the-shelf units and boil-and-bite DIY mouthguards. Off-the-shelf guards are designed to fit pretty much everyone to some extent, and end up fitting no one very well. Boil-and-bite options are molded to your teeth, but are much more susceptible to tears than a custom guard provided by a dental clinic near you — especially if you wear braces.

To obtain the fullest, safest, and most durable protection from a mouth guard, you should obtain a custom-fit mouth guard from an orthodontist or dentist in NE Calgary who takes molds of your teeth and takes any particular concerns — including braces or other dental work — into  account to provide the protection you need.

Sports-related injuries to teeth are incredibly common in Calgary, but many can be avoided as simply as by wearing a custom mouth guard. To arrange for a mouth guard to protect your mouth or the mouth of your child athlete, contact a dentist’s office to find out where to get mouth guards near you.