Regular exercise is extremely beneficial for your health, and a great way to include more activity in your life is through sports. That said, there are some precautions that athletes should take to protect their mouths, teeth, and smiles from damage, and the best way to do that is with a customized mouthguard that’s specifically molded to your face. But if you don’t wear a mouthguard right now and aren’t sure if you need one, then here’s what you need to know.
Plain and Simple, Mouthguards Protect Your Teeth from Damage
Lots of sports, even ones that are non-contact, can involve impacts, such as with other people, sticks, pucks, balls, and even the ground if you happen to trip and fall. All of this contact can result in trauma to your face, and if your mouth is involved, then you risk damaging your teeth. Some of the most common mouth-related sports injuries a dentist will see are:
- Chipped teeth
- Broken teeth
- Fractured teeth
- Loose or lost teeth
- Broken fillings
Sports That Necessitate Mouthguards
Every sport carries with it a risk of injury, but some are more likely than others to result in mouth and tooth damage. The American Dental Association actually has a list of sports it recommends mouthguards for, and they include (but aren’t limited to) football, hockey, basketball, wrestling, squash, rugby, roller hockey, field hockey, and boxing.
Custom-Made Mouthguards Can Also Protect Your Brain
Mouthguards are also extremely important for athletes because they can protect your brain from a concussion in the event of head trauma. However, only a custom-fitted mouthguard will afford this protection because they absorb shocks and limit the motion of your head after an impact. There are store-bought mouthguards that you can buy that are much cheaper than professional ones from the dentist, but they don’t fit properly and aren’t as reliable.
It’s Cheaper to Protect Your Teeth Than to Fix Them
Finally, mouthguards are crucial because they’ll protect your wallet from the unnecessary costs associated with dental repairs. A mouthguard could cost you as much as $500, but it will also protect you from having to pay a dentist to fix a broken, chipped, or even missing tooth, which could range anywhere from $200 to replace a filling to $3,000 or more for a dental implant to replace a lost tooth.
Staying active through sports and other exercises will help you lead a long, happy, and healthy life, but it’s important to take steps to protect your body when you play. Just like you wear a helmet to protect your head when you ride a bike, so too should you wear a mouthguard when you participate in any sport where there’s a risk of impact with your face. If you’re not wearing a mouthguard, then you risk major damage to your teeth in the form of chips, cracks, breaks, fractures, and more. A mouthguard will protect your teeth, your smile, and your brain from damage, making it an important equipment investment for any athlete.