Benefits of a Cutom-Fit Mouthguard
How would you like to avoid large dental bills? I would love for you to do the same. Many sports will begin this fall, and now that we have our hydration under control from last month, we can focus on the best way to deal with an injury: avoiding it from happening in the first place.
An estimated 12 million young people between the ages of 5 and 22 years suffer an injury from participation in sports, resulting in about 20 million lost days of school and about $33 billion in healthcare costs. In fact, research has shown that the top five most common causes of childhood injury, in order of highest to lowest frequency are basketball, football, bicycling, playgrounds and soccer.
Sports participation is a wonderful way for children and adults to enjoy a healthy lifestyle; however, an injury can occur and sometimes is nearly unavoidable. Wearing a custom fitted athletic sports mouthguard can not only help almost completely avoid injury to the teeth, gums and lips, but also provide greater comfort and use than ready-made purchased mouthguards, which often diminish sports performance.
A sports mouthguard works by diminishing the stress and absorbing energy generated by impact to the teeth, in order to minimize or prevent injury to the teeth and surrounding structures. Evidence shows that the custom fit mouthguard was initiated in the sport of boxing, when boxers complained of failure to focus, while having to think about clenching their teeth together to keep their mouthguard in their mouths. Perhaps you or your child has experienced the same issue.
A custom fit sports mouthguard is normally made for the upper teeth, due to their normally being in front of the lower teeth and taking the brunt of the forces. The benefits of the mouthguards stem from the great retention and shaping, due to being made for only your teeth and shaped to fit only your mouth. This allows an athlete to be able to speak normally, experience maximum comfort, have adequate thickness of material at every tooth to avoid injury from impact and breathe better, when clenched due to an airway space maintained in the front portion. A properly fitted mouthguard leads to fewer cuts on the lips, cheeks and gums, due to covering the sharp teeth, decreasing impact to the teeth avoiding tooth breakage and diminishing the force to the jaw, resulting in less opportunity for jaw fracture or TMJ injury.
Many athletes have also taken the opportunity to express their creative sides with a custom fit mouthguard, adding team logos, numbers, various color mixtures, rhinestones, among many other fun unique items. I promote having fun with customization as you or your child will be more likely to wear it, resulting in less chance of losing it.
Research continues to be conducted on possible benefits linked to custom fitted athletic mouthguards contributing to athletic enhancement and concussion prevention. Although little conclusive evidence has been shown, I hope that the features of the mouthguard are maximized to help in anyway regarding these possible benefits.
Protect yourself, your child and your wallet! Have some fun and consider a custom fitted athletic sports mouthguard!
Protecting Grills Daily, Kristopher Rappold, DDS, FAGD