You settled in for your daughter’s volleyball match. You’ve learned a lot about the sport since she started playing, and you love watching her participate in something she enjoys.
The first game was close, and the second one was shaping up the same way. Both teams had some heavy hitters, and that made for an exciting match so far.
That changed when the other team hit a dink over the net. Your daughter and one of her teammates dove for the ball, not realizing the other one was headed the same way. They collided, then rolled over holding their mouths.
This could be a dental emergency, or this could be swollen lip, depending on whether your daughter was wearing an athletic mouthguard.
We hope you never have to deal with this scenario, but we also hope you and the people you love are prepared for it just in case.
You can get a custom-fitted athletic mouthguard at the office of Dr. James Ross, Family, Cosmetic & Laser Dentistry. We consider this part of our general dentistry for our patients in and around Novi, MI.
Who Needs A Mouthguard?
You are likely aware that mouthguards are required for many sports. Football and hockey may come to mind.
You may not be aware that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and other professional dental organizations recommend mouthguards for athletes in all high-impact sports.
We can’t list every high-impact sport here, but these sports would fit that definition:
In general, if your sport of choice includes running, frequent changes in direction or speed, jumping, flying objects (balls, pucks, etc.), contact between participants, or any combination of those things, then you are playing a high-impact sport.
Everyone understands that sports are a great way to stay in shape, but there is also a risk of injury that comes from participating. We don’t want to discourage anyone from playing the sports they love, but we urge you to take precautions to reduce your risk of injury, including dental injuries.
It’s sort of like driving or riding in a car. Just like a seatbelt, a mouthguard won’t prevent an accident from happening, but it may keep you or someone you love from being seriously injured.
Why Custom-Fitted Mouthguards Are Better
We want to say from the start that wearing any mouthguard is better than wearing no mouthguard at all. Athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to suffer dental injuries than those who do, according to the ADA.
But that doesn’t mean all mouthguards are the same.
Again, let’s consider our seatbelt analogy. You could wear the old lap-band seatbelt. You could ride in a car with seatbelts and airbags. Or you could have the five-point harness like race car drivers have in their vehicles. All of these offer some protection, but the harness offers the most protection.
In a similar way, a custom-fitted mouthguard will provide greater protection than the mouthguards you can find in a store.
Since each of these athletic mouthguards is custom-made for one person, they are smaller than the bulky boil-and-bite mouthguards you will find at the store. This makes custom-fitted mouthguards are more comfortable to wear. And they are less likely to interfere with breathing or speaking while they are in place.
All this makes them more likely to be worn during practices and games as well, which means they are more likely to save your favorite smiles.
Preventing A Dental Emergency
Dr. Ross and our team in Novi, MI, are prepared to help if you do have a dental emergency.
But we would much rather help you do something that could prevent one. Getting and wearing an athletic mouthguard could be the difference between your daughter losing a tooth if she collides with a teammate or having a sore lip for a few days.