Have you ever had a nightmare about losing your front teeth? For some people, this isn’t just a bad dream – it’s reality. Not because they didn’t brush their teeth, but because they sustained an injury while playing sport. I have seen this happen a lot. I remember attending a Dental Trauma Convention and hearing about the amount of damage that can be done on the sporting field. Despite great advances in dentistry, the speakers and researchers concluded that prevention will always be the best way to avoid loss of teeth.
In the case of dental sporting injuries, this prevention comes in the form of a mouthguard. This is backed up by The Australian Dental Association and Sports Medicine Australia who both recommend the use of an appropriately designed and made mouthguard while participating in sport. Sports Medicine Australia states: “Players of all ages involved in sports and activities where they are at risk of an injury to the face should protect their teeth with a properly fitted mouthguard. This includes sports where there is a risk of collision, falling and/or contact from other players or equipment such as balls, bats, sticks or racquets.”
Dental injuries last a lifetime
Dental injuries not only affect your appearance, but can also be painful and expensive to treat. Once teeth have suffered a dramatic blow, chances are they will require long-term treatment. If you sustain an injury, you may need to take time off work and school to recover. The most painful part for a lot of my patients is taking time off the sporting field. In some instances, your sporting association may require a dental clearance to play on the field again. So please think twice before you decide not to wear your mouthguard!
Teeth that are traumatised may require root canal treatment, orthodontics, crowns, bridges, dentures, restorations or implants. You can prevent accidents from becoming costly and protect your teeth by wearing a mouthguard. At Riverstone Family Dental, when we talk about ‘lifetime cost‘, we are referring to dental treatment which will need to be maintained or re-done several times during the course of one’s lifetime. When you factor this in, the cost of a mouthguard is very little when compared to the lifetime cost of complex dental treatment.
Remember that if you have protrusive front teeth, inadequate lip coverage or have orthodontic treatment, you are at a greater risk of dental injury.
Are custom-made mouthguards better?
The mouthguards which require you to boil and mold them are prone to feeling very loose and may fall out during sport. Also they may spend more time outside of the mouth than inside because they can be highly uncomfortable and cause gagging.
Custom-made mouthguards are the best way to protect your teeth whilst playing sports. They are especially important during contact sports such as rugby, boxing, AFL and hockey. Custom mouthguards are made at the dentist and will not only fit better but also last longer. They are strong and do not require regular replacing. Because of this, they will work out cheaper in the long run and are more comfortable than over the counter guards that you buy from a chemist. At Riverstone Family Dental we have youth specials on mouthguards, call us on (02) 8678 3538 for more information.
How effective are mouthguards?
Accidents can happen anytime during a competitive sports game or even during training. By wearing a mouthguard, you can limit the risk of trauma to your lips, tongue, and soft tissues of your mouth. It is an easy and safe way to prevent chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage inside a tooth or even tooth loss.
Children and young adults playing sports are especially at risk. The International Association of Dental Traumatology recommends the wearing of mouthguards, and the Australian Dental Association (ADA) and Sports Medicine Australia have worked together to create a Mouthguard Policy for sports clubs to sign up to. They have done this in response to many studies which show the effectiveness of mouthguards.
By wearing a mouthguard during sports, you are not only protecting your teeth, but you are also absorbing and spreading the impact of a potential blow to the face. This helps to prevent injury and the corresponding time off school or work to recover.
I hope you have found this blog helpful, if you’d like to learn more about mouthguards you can book in for a consultation at Riverstone Family Dental on 8678 3538. Have a wonderful sports season!