We all know about the importance of protecting our teeth from decay but what about when it comes to sport?
Exercise is essential to wellbeing but some sports do carry the danger of physical injury, including damage to teeth.
Dental injuries are a common problem in sport and unfortunately it is usually front teeth that bear the brunt of any impact.
Damage can include fractures to the teeth, broken teeth, teeth being knocked out of position – or knocked out completely. Then there is the problem of cuts to the gums and inner cheek as well as the tongue.
It comes as little surprise that one of the main sports associated with dental injuries is rugby, however martial arts, basketball, football, hockey, boxing and racquet sports can all present a danger to dental health. Essentially any sport where there is a risk of collision or failing at a fast speed could carry a threat of dental injury.
Preventing a sporting dental injury
While there is a chance that broken teeth can be repaired the repercussions of a sporting dental injury can be long- lasting.
Rather than risk a sporting dental injury, children and adults who take part in sports – certainly contact sports or those which carry an increased risk of injury – should consider wearing a mouth guard to protect their teeth.
The best option for protecting your teeth from a sporting dental injury is wearing a custom-made mouth guard that can be fitted by your dentist. A good fit is essential to prevent injury.
A dentist will ensure the best fit possible by taking an impression of the patient’s teeth then having a mould made to fit. The close fit will allow for maximum comfort while playing sport as well as a good level of protection.
While off-the-shelf mouth guards are available these are not recommended as a rule as the fit is not generally close enough to adequately protect teeth from injury.
There is the alternative of using a ‘boil and bite’ mouth guard which will give a closer fit than an off-the-shelf version, however this will not offer the same protection and comfort as a specially fitted mouth guard.
When it comes to playing sport don’t let the risk of injury hold you back – instead invest in your health with a well-fitting mouth guard before the worst happens.
For more information on mouth guards to protect against sporting dental injuries contact Bhandal Dental Surgery.