Children or adults to play organized sports can benefit from wearing a mouth guard. These are pliable plastic devices that fit inside the mouth to cover up the upper level of teeth to protect against damage from impact or trauma.
Mouth guards are recommended for any type of contact sport such as football, lacrosse, boxing, or even basketball. Most organized leagues make them standard equipment and players can be penalized for failing to wear them or taking them out during play.
Benefits of Mouth Guards
But mouth guards are beneficial for non-contact sports as well, including sports like soccer, gymnastics, skateboarding, or even water polo. Any sport that involves more than a single participant has the risk of collision. Wearing a mouth guard can protect against things like broken teeth or dental injury.
They are designed to provide a protective barrier between the teeth and gum. The soft plastic can absorb some of the impacts, preventing the direct hit from being sustained to the teeth, gums, and jaw of the wearer. They can help prevent bruising or cuts to the lip, tongue or face. This is especially important if the athlete wears braces or other orthodontic devices while playing.
But a mouth guard also helps prevent the upper and lower jaws from slamming into each other. There are some studies that even suggest mouth guards can help protect against concussion and other more serious head trauma.
Like seatbelts in automobiles, mouth guards have become ubiquitous in sports. Some of the world’s most famous athletes — including basketball stars and football heroes — can be seen putting their mouthguards in between plays. This serves as an example for younger athletes to follow suit.
If you have children who play sports or if you play contact sports yourself, it’s important that mouth guards always be used. It’s a simple habit that can save your smile.