Mouthguards are a piece of preventive equipment that players usually wear while playing games. This equipment is mainly used for high-impact sports such as football, hockey, and basketball. Almost all dentists recommend wearing mouthguards, especially for basketball and football players.
However, mouthguards are not to be necessarily used for impact sports. Instead, they can help prevent many injuries, even in non-contact sports such as gymnastics or snowboarding.
Are you wondering what the function of these mouthguards is? Do you want to know the benefits of wearing this football mouthpiece? If yes, continue reading this guide. Here we will discuss why athletes should wear mouthguards and how this preventive piece of equipment helps protect athletes’ teeth.
Why is it Necessary to Wear Mouthguards?
Participation in sports has grown steadily among youth and adolescents in recent years. As a result of these increased participation levels, the chances of injuries have also increased. Reports suggest that more than 30% of all the injuries reported arise due to involvement in sports.
Among these reported sports injuries, dental injuries are the most common type of injuries encountered.
Safety must be a top priority for all athletes, and one of the essential elements of safety is the mouthguard. Wearing mouthguards is crucial for protecting everything from teeth to the tongue. Hence, wearing mouthguards is necessary for all athletes for some good reasons.
Reports suggest that an athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing protective equipment like mouthguards. Most of the time, dental injuries permanently damage your oral structures, which require medical intervention.
Benefits of Wearing Mouthguards
Here are a few key benefits of wearing mouthguards.
· Mouthguards Protect Your Teeth
The primary function of a mouthguard is to protect teeth from being chipped, fractured, or knocked out, which occurs due to a direct blow to the face. The impact on the face might seem strange; however, it is pretty common among football, basketball, and hockey players.
Wearing a basketball mouthguard protects athletes’ teeth when they experience a hard blow on their face. Protecting the teeth protects your lips and cheeks from lacerations due to chipped or broken teeth. Furthermore, it is an instinct to bite down before an impact, and a mouthguard gives an athlete something to bite into.
· Mouthguards Act as A Shock Absorber
Another function that mouthguards perform is they act as a shock absorbers. When an athlete experiences a hard blow on the chin, the force travels from the chin to the jaw bone. From the jaw bone, the energy reaches the teeth and facial bones.
That’s where mouthguards come into play. Mouthguards act as shock-absorber and minimize the impact of the blow. That’s how they help in preventing injuries. It is worth mentioning here that broken jaws and chipped teeth are hard to fix and painful. So, the best way to avoid such injuries is to wear a mouthguard.
· Wearing Mouthguards is Essential for those Who Wear Braces
Wearing mouthguards is particularly important for those athletes who wear braces. These braces are sharp and can cause severe lacerations on the lips and even inside the mouth. Also, an impact against the braces can lead to a permanent dental injury.
Mouthguards are mostly made of flexible materials which do not stick to the braces. Hence, they minimize the risk of developing injuries even in case of a massive blow on the face. That’s why wearing mouthguards are essential for athletes who wear braces.
What Type of Mouthguard to Choose?
The best mouthguard is the one that covers all your teeth. Its bite should be balanced. The thicker the mouthguard is, the better it is. However, the athlete’s comfort must be considered when it comes to choosing thickness.
Also, you must ensure that the mouthguard stays in place in the event of an impact so that the athlete does not have to continuously bite down to keep it in place.
An ideal mouthguard is 3 mm thick. This thickness is enough to absorb and distribute the shock appropriately when an athlete experiences a blow on the mouth.
Mouthguards are often underestimated; however, they are essential protective equipment for athletes involved in high-impact sports. They must be necessarily worn by football, soccer, basketball, hockey, and baseball players. Mouthguards minimize the risk of dental injuries and ensure that athletes stay safe if they experience a high blow on the face.