Why Do Players Wear Mouthguards?
A mouthguard is a protective device worn over the teeth and gums to prevent injury to the mouth and teeth. Mouthguards are commonly used by athletes, especially those who participate in contact sports. In this article, we will explore why players wear mouthguards and the benefits they provide.
Protection Against Dental Injuries
Athletes who participate in contact sports are at a high risk of dental injuries. A mouthguard acts as a cushion and absorbs the impact of a blow to the face, reducing the risk of dental injuries such as chipped or broken teeth, tooth loss, and jaw fractures. Mouthguards also help prevent cuts to the lips, tongue, and cheeks.
According to the American Dental Association, athletes who do not wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to suffer dental injuries than those who wear them.
Prevention of Concussions
A mouthguard can also help prevent concussions, which are a common injury in contact sports. A mouthguard helps to absorb the impact of a blow to the face, reducing the force that is transmitted to the brain. This can help prevent or reduce the severity of a concussion.
Wearing a mouthguard can also improve an athlete’s performance. When an athlete is wearing a mouthguard, they are less likely to clench their teeth, which can cause fatigue and reduce their endurance. A mouthguard can also improve an athlete’s breathing, which can help them perform better.
Custom-fit mouthguards are made by taking an impression of the athlete’s teeth. These mouthguards provide a better fit and offer more protection than boil-and-bite mouthguards. Custom-fit mouthguards are also more comfortable to wear, which means that athletes are more likely to wear them.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three types of mouthguards: stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom-fit mouthguards. Stock mouthguards are pre-made and come in different sizes. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are softened in hot water and then molded to fit the athlete’s teeth. Custom-fit mouthguards are made by a dentist or dental laboratory and provide the best fit and protection.
Care and Maintenance of Mouthguards
Mouthguards should be cleaned after each use with a toothbrush and toothpaste. They should be stored in a container that allows air to circulate and kept away from heat and sunlight. Mouthguards should be replaced when they become worn or damaged.
In conclusion, wearing a mouthguard is important for athletes who participate in contact sports. Mouthguards provide protection against dental injuries, prevent concussions, and improve performance. Custom-fit mouthguards provide the best fit and protection, and mouthguards should be cared for and replaced when necessary.
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