- “Mouth guards prevent laceration and bruising during impact by acting as a buffer between the soft tissues of the lips and cheeks and the teeth.
- Mouth guards prevent tooth fractures or dislocations by cushioning the teeth from direct frontal blows while redistributing the forces of impact.
- Opposing teeth are protected from seismic contact with each other.
- Mouth guards help reduce neurologic injury by acting as shock absorbers between the upper and lower jaws. This helps protect the athlete from concussion.”
Every Smile Deserves Protection
With a new academic year starting, many of the youth in our communities are beginning tryouts for their Fall sports and activities. Is your child one of them? No matter what sport your child engages in, there is always some sort of required protective equipment. In volleyball there are knee pads, in soccer they wear shin guards, and football builds protective padding into the shoulders and thighs of the uniform. Something that often gets overlooked, however, is the protection of the mouth. Mouth guards are currently only required for athletes participating in ice hockey, lacrosse, field hockey, and football (Rondon). This is extremely unsettling as, “An athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard” (Vastardis). What exactly does a mouth guard do and how does the wearer benefit from this? In an article by Peter D. Vastardis, DMD, he cites: