While I was at taekwondo class last week, my instructor discussed the importance of mouthguards. He’s been to quite a few sparring matches and is a great competitor himself. He actively follows the MMA field and watches & analyzes extreme fights. What caught my attention is when he said that mouthguards are really important to avoid concussions. WHAT?? Mouthguards help prevent concussions? That was news to me! He said he has seen fighters lose a tooth but avoid the concussion while wearing a mouthguard.
I soon learned that is his opinion. I did some research with our experts here at Delta Dental and they feel a little differently. Don’t get me wrong, they promote wearing mouthguards; however, the main purpose of a mouthguard is to safeguard your mouth. The experts believe that you are protecting your smiles – and not sure how much it protects against concussions.
Young athletes are 60 times more likely to damage teeth when not wearing a mouthguard during a violent tackle or a ball to the face (hey, we’ve all been there). In addition to protecting teeth, mouthguards also provide a barrier between teeth, lips and cheeks, which can prevent potential lacerations and bruises. It may even be able to prevent a broken jaw!
You can purchase over-the-counter mouthguards in most sports stores, but it’s best to ask your dentist for a recommendation on custom-made mouthguards. They’re more expensive than the store-bought versions, but they’ll fit your child’s mouth better, making them more secure and comfortable.
Just like any other piece of sports equipment, mouthguards will wear out with repeated use and should be replaced when they start to show signs of wear and tear.
With proper use and care of a mouthguard, you’ll be able to appreciate your child’s grin after a big play – not worry about it.