If you have children in sports, or you are in a contact sport, mouth guards are key in keeping your teeth and your face safe. Did you know one-third of mouth injuries are caused by sports? The American Dental Association says 200,000 of these injuries could be prevented per year by wearing mouth guards.
Why Wouldn’t You Wear a Mouth Guard if it Saves Your Teeth?
Think about the repercussions of a mouth related injury due to not wearing a mouth guard. To start, you may have dental bills you weren’t planning on to restore your teeth. You also may have to make choices on what you want fixed for medical reasons versus cosmetic reasons. Aside from the cost, you are obviously dealing with a lot of pain as well. Dental injuries can make it hard to eat and talk during recovery. And from an athlete’s perspective, you may end up missing some practices and games if your injury is serious enough. Why risk the cost, pain, and missed play time by not wearing a mouth guard?
When You Need to Wear a Mouth Guard
So who is at risk, and should consider wearing a mouth guard? Mouth guards are required in collision sports like football, hockey, and boxing. But people playing other sports like basketball, soccer, wrestling, field hockey, and baseball might want to think about wearing a mouth guard even though they are not required.
According a study on sports-related injuries, most injuries to the mouth happen when athletes are not wearing mouth guards: “A study of high school athletes found that seventy-five percent of injuries occurred when mouth guards were not worn and forty percent occurred during baseball and basketball. Nine percent of all athletes suffered some type of oral injury while another three percent reported a loss of consciousness. Fifty-six percent of all concussions were suffered when mouth guards were not worn.”
Clearly, the statistics show taking the risk and not wearing a mouth guard is not worth it. For parents, make sure your children have a mouthguard that fits and that they are wearing them for practice and games. For adults, don’t consider yourself above the need for a mouthguard. Talk to Dr. Scurti today if you have questions about finding a mouthguard that fits your athletic needs.
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