Sporting injuries are a leading cause of adults losing teeth
With the Rugby Six Nations taking place we thought that it would be useful to focus this blog on the importance of wearing a mouthguard (sometimes called a gum shield) during sport.
Sporting accidents are one of the most common causes of dental injury. Every year thousands of people, including children, are treated for dental injuries that could have been avoided or minimised by wearing a protective mouthguard.
What is a mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a rubber-like cover which fits over your teeth and gums, cushioning them and protecting them from damage.
When would I need a mouthguard?
It is important to wear a mouthguard whenever you play sport that involves physical contact or moving objects. For example; cricket, hockey, football, American football, boxing and rugby.
Choosing a mouthguard
There are many types of mouthguards available ranging from cheap, over the counter types to professionally custom made mouthguards.
Over the counter mouthguards do protect but are not an accurate fit, they are looser/less comfortable and more conscious that you are wearing a mouthguard. It worthwhile investing in a custom made mouthguard, they are more comfortable with a much better fit and offer greater protection.
At Smile Concepts we offer a custom made mouthguard service. An impression is taken to create an accurate plaster model of your teeth; your dentist can assess your mouth to ensure that your mouthguard fits perfectly, is appropriate for you and is comfortable to wear.
It’s important that you have your mouthguard assessed by your dentist at your regular dental check-up to ensure it still fits correctly for maximum protection. Children that have new, secondary adult teeth coming through may need to have their mouthguard replaced more regularly.
Five Reasons to wear a mouthguard when playing sport
New Zealand rugby saw a 43 per cent reduction in dental injuries after referees were given powers to ensure that all domestic rugby players of all ages must wear mouthguards.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) regulations have acknowledged the importance of mouthguards and have made them compulsory for all players above school level who are involved in rugby. If these players have to wear them then there really is no excuse for it not to be compulsory for school children. Also why stop at just rugby? All sports where there is a risk of broken or damaged teeth or jaws should make the wearing on mouthguards mandatory.
If you should be unlucky enough to have a tooth knocked out, here is a guide to follow
If you have any concerns that you may have damaged your teeth whilst playing sports or if you wish to discuss a custom fitted mouthguard, please get in touch with the practice on 0121 705 2705 or email us.