Do Mouthguards Protect?
The recent increase in youth and adolescent participation in sports has consequently resulted in an increased number of sport related injuries. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, sports account for almost 30 percent of all dental injuries in young adults.
In fact, their studies have concluded that an athlete who neglects to wear a mouth guard is 60 times more likely to sustain injuries to the teeth and mouth.
But what sports are mouth guards used in?
Traditionaly, mouth guards were believed to be only necessary in combat sports like boxing and mma where the amount of contact to the face is constant and repetitive. However, new studies have shown that recreational sports like mountain biking and skiing and non-contact sports like soccer and basketball, have the same risk of dental injury because of the physical and competitive demands of the game itself.
In non-contact sports, the dental trauma occurs not because of the severity and repetition of the contact but because of the possibility of contact, whether it be direct or indirect. Hits to the face may not be intentional, but they are equally damaging. We recommend that any sport bearing the risk of accidental collision or contact wear a mouth guard for mouth protection reasons.
Here is a list of sports where we recommend the use of a mouth guard:
Basketball - Badminton - Baseball - Boxing - Car racing - Curling - Field Hockey - Figure Skating - Fencing - Football - Horseback Riding - Gymnastics - Handball - Ice Hockey - Karate - Lacrosse - Martial Arts - Racquetball - Roller Hockey - Rugby - Shot Putting - Skateboarding - Skiing - Skydiving - Soccer - Softball - Squash - Surfing - Volleyball - Water Polo - Weightlifting - Wrestling
We further recommend that the mouthguard be worn during all practices as well as competitions.
So which mouthguard is right for you?
Each sport demands a different level of protection. Some sports and leagues even have specific mouthguard rules and requirements. For instance, some leagues ban colored mouth guards, while others do not allow mouth guards to display brand name logos.
So, how do you decide what mouth guard is for you? Which mouthguard is best for your players?
In order to help you choose the mouthguard that's best for you, we have categorized different sports based on their protection needs.
Football - Lacrosse - Ice Hockey
Because athletes in these sports get facial protection in the form of facemasks, cages or full shields attached to their helmets, they do not need to wear bulky mouth guards.
In most cases, mouth guards featuring a thin frontal profil with added material under the molars is the preferred design amongst athletes in these sports. The added material under the molars acts as a shock absorber reducing the transmitted impact forces between teeth and the thin design allows ease of speech and breathability.
In less vocal positions, lip guards are also popularily seen on the field and ice. Lip guards feature a lip shield on the exterior of the mouthguard and a breathing hole to allow oxygen intake at all times. The lip shield part protects the athletes lips and soft tissue from debris and lacerations when collision is made between athletes.
Boxing - MMA
In fighting sports, frontal protection is extremely important. Because of the direct and repetitive impacts martial artists obtain to the face and mouth, a mouthguard featuring extra material in the frontal part of the guard is crucial for teeth protection. Mouthguards featuring added material in the frontal part like the RUSH will help further absorb and disperse the impact forces across the athletes entire mouth reducing the risk to tooth injury.
Basketball - Soccer
Due to the fast pace and the lack of head/facial protection in these sports, athletes are prone to serious injury. In fact, impact to the face is very common and requires athletes to protect their front teeth but to a lesser degree than in boxing and MMA. Because communication and breathing are essential parts of these sports, the mouthguards frontal area does not need to be overdone with added material. We recommend a low profil mouthguard with a thinner frontal profil and added material under the molars delivering more comfort, better breathing and communication.
Find your needs by visiting the article: " What Mouthguard Should I buy?"