Athletics is one of the leading causes of dental emergencies. You don’t want to see your child injured, or suffer from injury yourself. Oral injuries during sports and activities are never expected, but they are common, and can result in discomfort and expensive dental treatment.
At Turnagain Dental, Dr. Kennedy is committed to helping prevent sports-related injuries and manage them when they happen. His immediate goal when faced with a sports-related injury is to alleviate pain and discomfort and prevent the injury from causing more serious dental problems in the future.
Sports-Related Dental Injuries
Whether recreational or competitive, contact and collision sports put athletes at risk of serious dental injuries. Sports-related dental injuries can include any of the following:
- An avulsed (i.e., knocked-out) tooth
- Fractured or cracked tooth
- Fractured tooth root
- Tooth intrusion (i.e., tooth is driven back into the jaw)
- Broken facial bones
- Any other trauma to the mouth that causes lacerations or bleeding
Sports that have a higher risk of dental injuries include:
- Field hockey
- Water polo
Luckily, sports injuries are entirely preventable by taking the proper precautions. The best way to prevent a sports-related dental injury is to wear the proper protective equipment. Depending on the sport, this might be a helmet, face mask or mouthguard that protects against body-to-body contact or body-to-equipment contact. These pieces of equipment help shield the teeth, lips, tongue and other hard and soft tissues of the mouth from injury caused by an unexpected or hard blow to the face. They can also prevent injuries to the jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
For sports that require a mouthguard, Dr. Kennedy strongly recommends having a special mouthguard custom-fitted as opposed to buying a “boil and bite” mouthguard at a sporting goods store.
Why Not Boil and Bite?
Why should you see your dental professional for a mouthguard when there are stock “one-size-fits-all” or “boil and bite” mouthguards available at the supermarket or sporting goods store?
When a mouthguard is not custom-made by a dental professional, it tends to be bulky and uncomfortable, making it difficult to breathe or talk. Kids are less likely to wear bulky, uncomfortable mouth guards, which puts them at risk of a dental emergency. Stock and boil and bite mouthguards can cause other unpleasant side effects. Standard mouthguards tend to push the jaw forward, causing painful headaches, bite problems and TMJ disorder. A jawbone misalignment can also lead to spine misalignment, which will in turn affect your strength, balance, and athletic abilities. One-size-fits-all or boil and bite mouthguards are never worth this kind of risk!
Boil and bite mouthguards are also less durable than custom-fitted mouthguards, and wear down more quickly, putting the wearer at risk.
While some patients claim that store-bought mouthguards suit their needs, custom-made high-quality mouth guards are always the safer and more comfortable choice.
Play Harder with Customized Sports Mouthguards
Here at Turnagain Here at Turnagain Dental, Dr. Kennedy and his staff understand the relationship between a great mouthguard and increased athletic performance. Our specialized mouthguards hold the jaw securely in the most natural position, allowing the muscles in your face and neck to relax. This relaxed position and correct bite results in the flawless alignment and function of the entire upper body.
When your body is well positioned and protected, you can play to your best ability. Many patients claim that they experience increased upper body strength and greater flexibility and balance when they wear a professional mouthguard.
Most importantly, you will never have to worry about knocking out a tooth or damaging dental work when you wear a mouthguard. Our sports mouthguards protect the teeth, jawbone, lips, cheeks, gums, and tongue. They are lightweight, durable and easy to clean. They don’t impede speech or breathing.
Dr. Kennedy will provide complete instructions for wearing and caring for your mouthguard to keep it in top condition. He can also recommend how frequently to have it replaced so it continues to offer the proper protection. Kids grow out of mouthguards as their baby teeth fall out and their permanent teeth grow in, so it’s important to have new mouthguards made whenever possible to offer optimal protection.
An athlete is 60 times more likely to experience a dental emergency when they are not wearing a mouthguard. Protect yourself from pain and dental work by asking Dr. Kennedy about sports dentistry. Give us a call at Turnagain Dental today to schedule your consultation!