For the safety of your teeth, any sport where you risk running into another player or some sort of barrier should require a mouthguard. Unfortunately, most sports do not require mouthguards to play.
Research has confirmed that those athletes in sports who do not generally wear mouthguards suffer the most serious mouth injuries including, broken teeth, dislocated jaws, bitten tongues, cuts to the lips and gums, etc. Almost half of the injuries to the mouth reported are in the sports of baseball and basketball. Sports where the players do not universally wear mouthguards.
Types of Mouthguard
Typical mouthguards are made of soft, pliable plastic shaped to fit into the mouth. Most of them can be found in sports stores or online. Generally, there are 3 styles.
-Stock mouthguards are pre-molded to go straight into the mouth without any personalization. This means they will not fit snugly.
-Boil and bite mouthguards are more customizable. They are more comfortable and fit better than the stock kind because you soften them up by first boiling them in water before putting them in your mouth. Once cooled enough, biting down will mold them into the shape of your individual mouth.
-Custom mouthguards can be form fitted by your dentist. This is the Cadillac of mouthguards, and as such, this kind is very expensive and offer the best and most comfortable fit.
Comfort is the most important consideration when choosing a mouthguard. If you’re interested in mouthguards, call Dr. Obiora E. Nkwonta for more information. Please contact Rainier Dental Center to make an appointment at: 206.329.1100, or come by our office in Seattle, Washington.