Spring Sports Season Has Arrived: Remember to Buy a New Mouth Guard
The weather is starting to warm up, which means spring sports leagues are going to be starting up in short order. All across Arizona, children and adults alike will be enjoying spirited games of football, baseball, rugby, lacrosse, and other fun sports. But before you lace up your cleats, it’s important to take precautions to protect your teeth from injury. Whether you’re playing a contact sport or not, mouth injuries can cause long-term dental problems that may take expensive and invasive surgery to fix. But with the right precautions, you can protect your mouth and enjoy the exhilaration of spring sports and the warming weather. Here’s what you need to know about protecting your teeth this season.
Mouth Guards: The Best Way to Protect Your Teeth
The single best way to prevent dental injuries during sports is, quite simply, to wear a mouth guard. The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and Colgate estimate that up to 40% of all dental injuries happen during sports, and the American Dental Association says that mouth guards prevent 200,000 dental injuries every year. Clearly, the very best way to protect your teeth during sports is by wearing a quality mouth guard.
Custom vs Boil-and-Bite: What’s the Best Mouth Guard to Buy?
While wearing any kind of mouth guard during sports is better than not wearing one at all, there are certain mouth guards that are better than others. Not all mouth guards are as effective at preventing injury or absorbing shock.
There are three kinds of sports mouth guards on the market today, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Stock mouth guards, which are commonly sold in sporting goods stores and department stores, offer a minimal degree of protection during sports. Stock mouth guards are the most cost-effective kind of mouth guard at around $15 apiece, but they rarely fit well and can often cause breathing problems.
Boil and bite mouth guards are the most commonly used kind of mouth guard, and on average cost around $35 each. Boil and bites provide a better fit than stock mouth guards, but they often require players to clench their teeth in order to maintain a good fit during sports and don’t generally last more than one season.
Custom-fitted mouth guards are the most expensive type, but are by far the most comfortable and offer the most protection. A custom mouth guard can cost between $100 and $300 depending on the materials used, but because the guard is fabricated around your own teeth, it offers a degree of comfort and protection that is simply unrivalled by other mouth guard options. Your Tucson dentist can create a custom mouth guard by taking an impression of your teeth and sending that impression to a lab that manufactures a mold around your specific mouth shape.
By and large, having a mouth guard when you play sports is always better than not having one. However, not all mouth guards are created equal. A custom-fitted mouth guard prepared by a Tucson dentist will give you the best protection and the most comfort when you play sports, and will allow you to breathe normally. To learn more about protecting your teeth during sports, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Badie, call Badie Dental at (520) 325-3022.