Mouthguards are a crucial piece of equipment for athletes in high-impact sports. They help to protect the teeth, gums, lips, and jaw from injury during contact sports. However, it is important to note that mouthguards only cover the top teeth and not the bottom teeth. In this article, we will explore the reasons why mouthguards only cover top teeth and why it is important for athletes to wear them.
1. Anatomy of the Mouth
The anatomy of the mouth plays a significant role in why mouthguards only cover top teeth. The upper teeth are firmly anchored in the jawbone and are less likely to move during impact. On the other hand, the lower teeth are more mobile and can move and shift during impact, making it difficult to protect them with a mouthguard.
Moreover, the upper teeth are more vulnerable to injury than the lower teeth, as they are more exposed and are more likely to come into contact with objects during sports activities.
2. Bite Force
The bite force of the upper teeth is greater than that of the lower teeth. This is because the upper teeth have a larger surface area and are better able to distribute the force of impact. A mouthguard that covers the upper teeth can absorb and distribute the force of impact more effectively, reducing the risk of injury to the teeth and jaw.
3. Speech and Breathing
A mouthguard that covers the lower teeth can interfere with speech and breathing, making it difficult for athletes to communicate with teammates and coaches during games. By covering only the upper teeth, a mouthguard allows for clear speech and unobstructed breathing, making it easier for athletes to communicate and perform at their best.
4. Comfort and Fit
A mouthguard that covers both the upper and lower teeth can be uncomfortable and may not fit properly, leading to discomfort and irritation during sports activities. By covering only the upper teeth, a mouthguard can be made to fit more comfortably and securely, reducing the risk of discomfort and injury.
5. Cost and Maintenance
A mouthguard that covers both the upper and lower teeth can be more expensive to manufacture and maintain. By covering only the upper teeth, mouthguards can be made more affordably and require less maintenance, making them more accessible to athletes at all levels.
Mouthguards are an essential piece of equipment for athletes in high-impact sports. By covering only the upper teeth, mouthguards can provide effective protection against injury while allowing for clear speech, unobstructed breathing, and a comfortable fit. It is important for athletes to wear mouthguards during sports activities to reduce the risk of dental and jaw injuries.