When most people think of preventive dentistry, a few things come to mind.
Brushing your teeth.
Flossing your teeth.
Professional cleanings at the dentist office.
All of these are important, but preventive care isn’t just about fighting cavities and gum disease. It’s also about protecting your smile. One way to do that is with a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard , which you can get at our dentist office in Midlothian, VA.
The Benefits Of Athletic Mouthguards
In a recent survey conducted on behalf of the American Association of Orthodontists, parents reported that 84 percent of young athletes do not wear mouthguards during games and practices.
That’s a concern for dentists in general and for the staff at our dentist office in particular. We know that it only takes a moment for someone to fall, to run into another player, or to get struck in the mouth with a ball, puck, or some other piece of sports equipment.
This can lead to broken teeth or teeth getting knocked out. Those kinds of dental emergencies can turn into expensive treatments.
While we can and do provide emergency care, we also know that an athletic mouthguard reduces your risk of those kinds of injuries.
Like a seat belt, a mouthguard is not going to stop you from being involved in an accident. However, having a mouthguard could be the difference between a sore lip and a broken tooth.
Who Should Be Wearing Athletic Mouthguards?
You already know that mouthguards are required for some sports.
Boxers were the first athletes to make mouthguards as a mandatory for participating in their sport. Today, mouthguards are usually required for contact sports, like football.
Regardless of whether mouthguards are mandatory, the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both advise wearing mouthguards for any high-impact sport.
Pop quiz: How many of these are considered high-impact sports?
The answer is all of these are high-impact sports. Any sport that involves frequent changes in speed or direction, lots of contact with other athletes, or frequent jumping and landing can affect your teeth and jaw. This can be the result of a direct impact or indirectly due to sudden movements.
Wearing a mouthguard reduces your risk of injuring your teeth and of accidentally biting the soft tissues of your mouth.
A Custom Fit Means Better Protection
If you are not wearing a mouthguard, then you should start. Any mouthguard is better than nothing, although a custom-fitted mouthguard does offer better protection.
Earlier, we compared wearing a mouthguard to wearing a seatbelt. Let’s take this analogy further.
Not wearing a mouthguard is like driving around in a car without a seatbelt. (We hope you do wear a seatbelt whether you are the driver or the passenger, by the way.) If you are involved in an accident, your risk of a serious injury is much higher if you don’t have any protection.
A store-bought mouthguard is like wearing the seatbelt in your personal vehicle. It should work in everyday situations, but you would want more protection if you were a competing in a professional car race.
This brings us to our custom-fitted mouthguards. These are more like the harnesses that professional racers wear while competing.
When you are running around a field or a court, you are doing something that hopefully is fun and helping you stay in shape. At the same time, we think you would agree that you risk of an accident increases the faster you and the people around you are moving.
By wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard, you are giving your smile the best protection available.
Protect Your Smile
In addition to serving as a family dentist for more than 30 years, Dr. Biggers also served as the team dentist for the Richmond Renegades hockey team for 15 years. He understands how serious dental injuries can be.
And we would rather help you prevent those kinds of injuries if we can. Whether you are a Little Leaguer, a high school athlete, or part of a company team, make an athletic mouthguard part of your equipment.
Get one at Biggers Family Dentistry by calling 804-621-2199 or contacting us online .