As your Mississauga dentist we take pride in informing our patients and community of important issues concerning their oral health. Teeth for life is something we live by to ensure that your teeth will last you a lifetime and always function for you as comfortably as possible. Your lifestyle dictates what you will need to do to ensure your teeth will last. Taking care of your teeth isn’t limited to just brushing and flossing and coming for your regular visits. For example, if you grind your teeth it may be necessary to protect them or if you have any signs or symptoms of sleep apnea it may be necessary to be evaluated for this. One big part of how your lifestyle can impact your oral health is whether or not you play any type of impact sport. If you do, then wearing a custom sports guard is something you should invest in.
So what is a custom sports guard?
A custom sports guard also known as a custom mouthguard is a protective dental device that covers the teeth and gums. Custom guards are made in a dental office or dental lab and are the best choice of sports guard because it is made specifically for your teeth. They are created out of a pliable material that conforms to the shape of your teeth and gums and are designed to absorb and disperse the impact forces that result from sports or physical activities. While over-the-counter guards may offer some protection they are not made of the same materials dental offices or labs use. The materials selected to create your custom sports guard disperse forces on impact and because over-the-counter guards are made for the general public, their fit will also affect their performance.
So how is a guard guarding you?
Prevention is worth a pound of cure!!! If you are able to do what you can to prevent an accident, would you? Preventing impact to your mouth and teeth should be taken seriously when participating in high impact sports. A custom sports guard can help prevent serious injury in the mouth. Here are 4 ways your sports guard is guarding you.
Reason #1 Can Possibly Prevent Concussion
When there is impact to the face, a sports guard can either reduce the intensity of a concussion or prevent it by reducing the forces from the impact. It does this by keeping the lower jaw slightly forward which creates a space between your skull and your jaw bone. When there is a space between the jaw bone and the skull and the impact or blow to the face is from the jaw upward, the impact from that force is less likely to radiate to the skull preventing the likelihood of concussion or possibly reducing its severity. ***note – this is a current theory which is still yet to be proven
Reason #2 Prevents Tooth Damage
Wearing a custom sports guard is important in preventing tooth damage. With impact sports there is a high likelihood that there will be impact to the mouth. Having a protective appliance that fits correctly will ensure minimal damage, if any. In this case it can be seen as an investment. If the mouth was to sustain impact from a blow there would be severe repercussions as a result. Impact sports often result in anterior tooth loss, cracked or broken teeth involving not just one tooth, jaw displacement and more severe trauma. Doing what you can to minimize the impact will save you not only in cost but also in more extensive dental treatments down the road.
Reason #3 Protects the Jaw Joint
Not only will a custom sports guard protect your teeth but it will also protect your jaw joint. How a mouthguard does this is by cushioning the upper and lower jaw when impact occurs reducing the chance of trauma. Protecting the jaw joint from fracture or misalignment relies heavily on proper fit and proper wear of the sports guard which is why custom fitted sports guards are preferable.
Reason #4 Prevent Teeth from Shifting
When a custom sports guard is created, it is done in the dental office by creating an imprint of your teeth and having the dental office or dental lab create the sports guard with a special pliable material. When the custom sports guard is worn properly, it will prevent teeth from shifting by absorbing the force of the impact and distributing these forces while holding the teeth in place. This will also prevent chips or tooth fracture depending on how strong the force is. If you normally have tooth misalignment or crooked teeth a custom sports guard is very important as general over-the-counter sports guards are designed for perfectly straight teeth. Custom sports guards prevent the teeth from shifting on impact because they are designed specifically for your mouth in the shape and size of your teeth.
As your Mississauga dentist it is important to educate our patients and the community on topics that will help you achieve and/or maintain optimal oral health. If you have any questions or concerns about custom fitted sports guards please don’t hesitate to contact our office or click here for more information on sports guards. They are available in a variety of colours and we also have the capability to put custom logos on them as well. For more information visit www.creditriverdental.com or contact us at 905-278-4297 to book your appointment today!