May 20th, 2016
Now that kids are back to school, Fall sports are also starting. And with sports, it is not uncommon that collisions or contact sports and recreational activities can damage braces. There are lots of studies that show people who play sports are at risk of sustaining dental injuries in sporting activities, including organized and unorganized sports at both recreational and competitive levels. This is true not only for obvious contact sports, such as boxing or football, but injuries are also prevalent in non-contact activities and exercises, such as gymnastics and skating.
To maintain oral health and protect your braces, the use of a properly fitted mouth guard is the best available protective device for reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries. We are committed to oral health promotion and injury prevention for sports participants.
Studies of mouth guard users and nonusers have consistently shown that mouth guards offer significant protection against sports-related injuries to the teeth and soft tissues. Mouth guards provide a resilient, protective surface to distribute and dissipate forces on impact, thereby minimizing the severity of traumatic injury to the hard or soft tissues. Indeed, studies show the overall injury risk was 1.6-1.9 times greater when a mouth guard was not worn, relative to when mouth guards were used during athletic activity. For sporting activities that are inherently contact-oriented (e.g., football), protectors or faceguards are also appropriate for added safety and protection.
The key educational message is that the best mouth guard is any mouth guard that you use during sport activities. While custom mouth guards are considered by many to be the most protective option, other mouth guards can be effective if they fit well, are worn properly and stay in place. We provide all our athletes in treatment with special mouth guards specially designed to be worn with braces. So please let us know if you play sports!