Don’t Get Kicked in the Teeth…But If You Do – The Importance of Mouthguards in Sports Safety

It’s no secret that residents of Novi love sports! The folks around here work hard and play just as hard, whether it’s football, baseball, basketball, or the numerous other high-impact sports that can cause harm to your family’s mouths. In fact, at least 13% of all oral injuries happen during sports activities. Dr. Shah & Dr. Velilla want you to know how to keep your teeth out of harm’s way and still enjoy a good game, so please read on and learn how to win big with a safe, healthy smile.

It’s About More than Mouthguards

We know what you’re thinking, mouthguards are the key to staying safe on the field, right? Yes, they are a big part of it, but it takes more than just a mouthguard to keep your kids from getting a chipped tooth while scoring a touchdown. Sports safety for oral health means getting the right mouthguard and wearing it the right way. After all, the best defense is a good offense!

Do I Need a Mouthguard?

If you or a member of your family is considering a mouth protector to defend against injuries to the mouth and face, there are a few things you should know about your options. At Shah & Velilla DDS, we are always happy to help the people of Novi, so please give us a call if you’d like to discuss your options with one of our friendly professionals. In the meantime, here are a couple of facts about mouthguards:

  • Mouthguards are effective in every contact sport, but they are required by schools for football, ice hockey, field hockey, and lacrosse. However, basketball and baseball have the highest incidence rate of dental injuries. The American Dental Association actually recommends mouth guards for 29 sports! These include everything from martial arts, to gymnastics, to equestrian events, to skateboarding. A good rule of thumb – when in doubt, get a mouth guard! Better safe than sorry.
  • Athletes without mouth protectors are 60 times more likely to incur an injury to the teeth. According to the American Dental Association, mouthguards are effective because they create a buffer that helps protect teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongues from impact. They may also play a role in preventing and/or limiting damage from concussions.

Choosing and Using the Right Mouthguard

There are three different kinds of mouth protectors available – stock, boil and bite, and custom-fit. Stock mouthguards are the least expensive and the easiest to find, but they offer no customization, can cause irritation, and even fall out during sports activities. Boil and bite mouth protectors are made of a special plastic that becomes malleable when boiled, and can then be fitted. Dr. Shah, Dr. Velilla, and the American Dental Association recommend custom-fit mouth guards because they are the highest quality option with the best protection and comfort. At Shah & Velilla DDS, using a special impression of your teeth, we will create a perfectly fitted, custom mouth protector. This is the most expensive option, but it is the only one that offers comprehensive oral safety during sports.

How are Mouthguards Used?

First thing’s first, make sure to wear it during all sports activities, including practice, scrimmages, and games. After each use, clean the mouthguard with a toothbrush and toothpaste. It should also be cleaned occasionally with soap and water. Store the mouthguard in a ventilated container, and never leave it in direct sunlight.

Sports Safety Across the Board

How else can you keep your mouth safe? The most important thing is to know which activities pose a risk and be prepared with a mouthguard, helmet, and whatever protections are necessary. Dr. Shah & Dr. Velilla want all Novi residents to enjoy the game without fearing for their teeth, so give us a call at Shah & Velilla DDS today at (248) 427-9003 with any questions!

Sources

http://www.aapd.org/

http://www.drosmanski.com/blog/category/Sports.html

http://www.momsteam.com/health-safety/position-statement-and-recommendations-for-mouthguard-use-in-sports

http://blog.brighter.com/2013/score-big-with-dental-safety-and-sports/#_ftn1

“I love dentistry – it allows me to combine art and science to help people look and feel better. There are so many options available to restore a patient’s teeth and give them a healthy, long-lasting smile. At our office, we listen to our patients’ goals and desires and find a way to make them a reality. “It makes me feel good that so many people love coming to see me. We always create a welcoming, relaxed environment, an experience people always appreciate. It is not uncommon to hear people say that I make their dental visits enjoyable and they have never had such a good time going to the dentist! “I see only one patient at a time and each is given individual attention and ample time to address all their concerns. Our office is very different, and I welcome everyone to come and discover how enjoyable your dental visits can be.” DDS: University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor, MI
BS: Biology/Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Alumnus: Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, Nash Institute for Dental Learning, Dawson Center for Advanced Dental Study
Member: American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Academy of Comprehensive Esthetics, Academy of General Dentistry, American Dental Association, International Congress of Oral Implantology, Michigan Dental Association, Oakland County Dental Society Dr. Shah grew up in a family of physicians and knew from an early age he wanted to go into the medical field. He loves the hands-on, artistic aspects of dentistry, and in his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young sons. - Dr. Sanjiv Shah “I’m intrigued by all aspects of dentistry – I love helping my patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles and a lifetime of oral health.” “I feel it is very important to earn my patients’ trust. I encourage them to ask plenty of questions, and I spend a lot of time during the consultation process to make sure they are comfortable with the treatment plan, prior to starting the work.” Dr. Velilla’s parents were both physicians who encouraged him to pursue a career in dentistry. His interest in the field was piqued at age 13, and today he enjoys creating beautiful, healthy smiles and making a difference in people’s lives. In his spare time, he enjoys golf and traveling. - Dr. Morris Velilla

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Dental Technology, Patient Care

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