At 7 O’Clock Dental, we put a lot of emphasis on preventive dentistry. If you take proper care of your teeth by brushing and flossing every day and by coming to our New Orleans dentist office for routine cleanings, you are more likely to keep your teeth healthy.
This reduces your risk of a dental emergency, which could lead you to needing our restorative dentistry down the road.
Regardless, some dental emergencies can’t be prevented with consistent use of a toothbrush and dental floss. If you are an athlete who plays a high-impact sport, you should be wearing an athletic mouthguard at all times during practices and games.
High school football season may be over here in the Pelican State, but you still need to remember to protect your teeth. A custom-fitted athletic mouthguard is the best way to do just that.
What is a high-impact sport?
When you think of high-impact sports, contact and combat sports probably come to mind.
Football players wear mouthguards as a standard part of their uniform, and boxers and mixed martial artists would not step inside the ring without some form of protection for their mouths.
The potential for a blow to the jaw or hit in the head are obvious in those sports, but what other sports are considered high impact?
The truth is that any sport that involves high impacts on your joints should be considered a high-impact sport. Frequents stops and starts and lots of jumping puts stresses on the joints throughout your body, including your mouth.
In the winter, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association sanctions multiple high-impact sports, including basketball, soccer, and wrestling. Some other examples of high-impact sports are volleyball, gymnastics, lacrosse, hockey, and even competitive cheerleading.
Wearing a mouthguard won’t stop you from getting hit with an elbow while fighting for a rebound or from the impact of heading a soccer ball toward the goal or a teammate. It may reduce your risk of injuring your teeth or jaw.
The American Dental Association reported through its public education website, mouthhealthy.org, that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are up to 60 times more likely to suffer an oral injury than athletes who do.
Any mouthguard will provide some level of protection, but the Academy for Sports Dentistry recommends custom-fitted mouthguards, like the ones we make for our patients at 7 O’Clock Dental.
As the academy points out, custom-fitted mouthguards offers the most protection for your teeth. That’s not the only reason you should be wearing mouthguards while you are competing. They also protect your gum tissue and the supporting bone structure of your jaw.
Lost or fractured teeth, misaligned or broken jaws, and unintentional biting of your tongue or gums as a result of a sports accident could all become dental emergencies.
And this could lead to costly restorative dentistry for you or someone you love.
Ask yourself if you would rather spend a little money for an athletic mouthguard, or risk needing to spend a lot of money for an expensive procedure to replace your missing or broken teeth.
Now, mouthguards can’t save you from every possible injury that could occur, but they will greatly reduce the severity of your injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard could be the difference between losing a tooth or just feeling sore for a short time.
Caring for your mouthguard
If you get a custom-fitted mouthguard, you must use it correctly to receive the most benefit from it. Here are some tips from the Journal of the American Dental Association on how to get the most use out of your mouthguard:
– Wear your mouthguard at all times while practicing or playing a high-impact sport.
– In spite of what you’ve seen some professional athletes doing, you should never chew on your mouthguard. If you damage your mouthguard, it will become less effective.
– If you wear a retainer or other removable dental appliance, you should remove it when wearing your mouthguard.
– Clean your mouthguard after every use. This includes rinsing it with water and cleaning it with a toothbrush. Occasionally, you should clean your mouthguard with warm, soapy water.
– Store your mouthguard in a vented container when you are not using it. Do not store it in hot places.
– Examine your mouthguard regularly to check for damage. It will wear out with time and should be replaced as needed.
– Bring your mouthguard with you when you visit the dentist for your routine cleanings.
We want you to keep your teeth healthy and in your mouth for as long as possible. By coming to our dentist office in New Orleans, we can create a custom-fitted mouthpiece to help in that effort. We can even customize your mouthguard in your team colors or with your team’s logo or your number.