If you or your child participate in fall sports, you should be wearing a mouth guard. The National Federation of State High School Associations require mouth guards for the following sports: football, field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse. They are also required in wrestling for any participant wearing braces. Mouth guards can make a big difference in protecting an athlete against orofacial injuries. According to the Academy for Sports Dentistry, studies have shown that custom mouth guards can offer greater protection than store-bought mouth guards against these types of injuries.
When it comes to protecting your or your child’s smile with a mouth guard, the fit of the piece can make all the difference. To make a custom-fit mouth guard, your dentist will take a mold of the mouth. This mold will then be used to create a precise and customized mouth guard that will perfectly hug the curves of the teeth. Even millimeters of space between the mouth guard and the teeth can decrease the amount of protection provided. The more snug the fit the better able the mouth guard can absorb the shock from a physical blow.
Mouth guards protect more than just the teeth, mouth, and jaw. Your brain lives right above the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in your jaw. The TMJ is the hinge joint of your jaw. When sustaining a mouth injury, this joint can be a conductor that travels the energy from the hit to the brain. A mouth guard with a good, proper fit can absorb most of this energy to prevent or lessen the severity of a potential brain injury. A study in 2014 showed that concussions were less likely in student football players wearing custom-made mouth guards versus store-bought mouth guards. A mouth guard in combination with a helmet may better protect against concussions.
A custom-styled mouth guard can offer protection during high impact sports. To schedule a consultation with Austin Prosthodontics in Austin, TX, call 512-250-9444. We also proudly welcome patients from Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Leander, and all surrounding Texas communities.