Back to school means back to mouthguards for student-athletes – The Suburban Times


Submitted by Jeff Reynolds, DMD, Delta Dental.

Back to school means back to mouthguards for student-athletes

Up to 60% of student-athletes will sustain a sports-related dental injury, and about 30% of all sports injuries are related to the mouth and teeth, making mouthguards an important part of dental equipment. back to school for those who play sports. . While mouthguards are often required for football, hockey, and lacrosse, facial injuries are also common in other sports and activities, including basketball, baseball, skateboarding, and cycling.

Charles Wright Academy

So what are they? A mouthguard is a polymeric rubber material that, when worn, adds a protective layer to reduce the risk of dental injury. Mouthguards help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injury to students’ lips, tongue, face and jaw. These injuries can be both costly and painful, so they are worth avoiding. According to the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, students who do not use mouthguards are 60 times more likely to injure their mouths than those who do, making it an effective solution for preventing chipped teeth, cuts to the cheek or lips. , tooth loss and nerve damage.

The American Dental Association (ADA) agrees. To prevent facial and mouth injuries, the ADA recommends the use of mouthguards in both games and playing for 29 sports. Many families opt for ready-made, so-called “boil and bite” mouthguards, which are economical, but less comfortable and durable than custom mouthguards. Custom mouthguards, made by a dentist, which require mouth molds are more expensive but fit more comfortably. These mouthguards stay in place better, resist tearing and breaking, and are easier to breathe and speak when worn. Because they are tailored to suit an individual’s particular teeth and anatomy, they also tend not to induce a vomiting reflex.

If a student athlete wears braces, a mouthguard is even more important, as braces can cause mouth lacerations. Orthodontists can provide a suitable mouthguard for orthodontic appliances.

Mike Brandstetter for Lakewood City Council

Much like seat belts in the ’60s and bicycle helmets in the’ 70s, mouthguards are the latest safety innovation to protect young people. Sport has become an integral part of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. It is important to prevent sports-related injuries whenever possible and the easiest way to do this is to wear protective gear. Mouth guards are just as important in preventing physical injury as helmets, padding, and gloves.

Get one, and then keep it clean!

It is important to keep a clean mouthguard before and after use.
To clean your mouthguard:

  • Rinse and brush it with cold water and after each use. Let it air dry.
  • Keep it away from extreme heat and store it in a plastic case when not in use.
  • Store the mouthguard out of the reach of dogs and other pets.
  • Bring your mouthguard to dental exams for inspection, adjustment and professional cleaning.
Lakewood Arts Festival 2021

Many dental care programs cover mouthguards; check with your plan to see if you have any benefits related to the mouthguard.

For more information on mouthguards, visit the Delta Dental of Washington blog.

Jeff Reynolds, DMD is a member dentist of Delta Dental of Washington and is the dental and dental director for community health care.

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