What is Sports Dentistry?
Sports dentistry often goes underappreciated or recognized until an injury occurs. Sports dentistry is typically defined as the treatment of oral related sports injuries such as cracked, or lost teeth, or even jaw damage. It also includes the proper education on how to avoid such injuries and the prevention of oral injuries during sports by applying the proper dental equipment.
One of the most effective ways that sports dentistry can help you or your child is by providing custom mouthguards designed just for their teeth. Most people agree that it is essential to wear mouthguards while playing contact sports because of the high risk of injury to the mouth. What is more, injuries to permanent teeth can be very serious and even permanent. Also, while contact sports seem like a no-brainer when it comes to mouthguard usage, non-contact sports may also necessitate a mouthguard. Bicycling, baseball, skateboarding, and even weightlifting if you are prone to clenching your teeth during an event, could be instances where a mouthguard could help protect your smile and your oral health.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three major types of mouthguards:
- The standard mouthguard: Your standard, or stock, mouthguards can be found in pretty much any sporting goods store. However easy to find, these mouthguards offer the least amount of protection. They are not customized in any way and can make breathing and talking very difficult. Since they aren’t made for you personally, they offer significantly less protection than the other two types. These mouthguards are not suitable for people with braces.
- The boil-and-bite mouthguard: The boil-and-bite mouthguard offers more protection and comfort than your standard mouthguard. You heat it in water to soften the material and then bite into it, as the name suggests, to slightly customize your mouthguard to your own mouth. You should ask your dentist if these are right for you if you have braces.
- Custom fit mouthguards: Custom fit mouthguards can be made for you by visiting your dentist. They offer the absolute best protection as well as comfort. They can be made to work well even for people with braces as they are at the highest risk of oral injury when it comes to contact sports. Custom fit mouthguards are made with a mold of your teeth taken by your dentist which is then sent to a laboratory that will manufacture you a completely custom mouthguard.