The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Wear a Mouth Guard

There are many injuries that can occur from not wearing a mouth guard such as breaking a tooth, lacerating your lip or gums or breaking your jaw.  With that being said, nearly 67% of Americans admit they don’t wear a mouth guard during sporting practice or games.  Many sports now mandate mouth guards in an effort to prevent injuries but even then there are some athletes that are non-compliant.

Check out this list of 5 reasons why you should wear a mouth guard and let us know if you would ever play a sport without one.

1.       Reduce the risk of knocking out teeth or breaking your jaw.

2.       The National Youth Sports Foundation says that athletes that don’t wear a mouth guard are 60 times more likely to sustain damage to their teeth.

3.       Mouth guards are fairly inexpensive and can potentially save you thousands of dollars in dental and medical bills due to an injury that could have been prevented.

4.       The American Dental Association estimates that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries each year.

5.       Damage to braces can lengthen treatment time and/or affect treatment results.

All athletes need to wear a mouth guard to prevent injuries to their teeth and mouth not only during National Facial Protection Month in April but every time they are playing sports.  There are three main types of mouth guards on the market today: 

Stock – Available in small, medium and large, these mouth guards require no boiling or custom fitting of any type to be worn. They tend to be the least comfortable for athletes to wear due to the constant pressure of biting down to hold the mouth guard in their mouth and also offer the least protection of all types of mouth guards.

Boil & Bite – These are pretty self-explanatory:  boil the mouth guard for 30 – 60 seconds and bite down on it to mold it around your teeth.  Dunk it in ice water once you’ve bitten down on it in order to hold the shape.  If it doesn’t feel quite right and you haven’t bitten through the material, you can always repeat the steps until you get a proper fit.  Boil and bite mouth guards can be found at most drugstores and sporting goods stores. 

Custom Fitted – These are the most expensive mouth guards but are also the most comfortable for athletes to wear.  They are made by a dentist or orthodontist from a mold (or impression) of your teeth for an exact fit that conforms precisely to your teeth and mouth, offering the most protection possible. 

Choose a mouth guard that works best for you and is the most comfortable but any mouth guard is better than no mouth guard.

Will you wear a mouth guard next time you’re playing a sport?