Sports related trauma injuries can not be avoided, but can be reduced by the athlete wearing proper protective equipment. For concussion prevention and dental injuries a proper fitting mouth guard is a must. Concussions tend to be thought of as a “blow to the head” or “helmet to helmet’ hit. But there are many other ways concussion may occur. A concussion can be considered a traumatic brain injury. A whipping of the neck can cause a concussion, or a hit to the jaw or from hit coming up from under the jaw. This is why it is important to not only protect the teeth but also prevent concussions from occurring. A mouthguard will cushion and absorb the impact and distribute the force from reducing the possibility of a concussion.
Most organizations will require the athlete to wear a mouthguard and the dentists at Sporting Smiles also recommend them for anyone playing sports.
There are 3 types of mouth guards to choose from.
Custom made mouthguard - dental impressions are taken at the dental office and a guard is constructed to fit specifically to the patient's dentition.
“Boil and Bite” mouthguard - Available through most sporting good stores. The product is placed into boiling water to soften, Then it is inserted in the mouth (once the temperature has cooled down as to not burn the soft tissues) and molded by finger, bite and tongue.
Stock mouthguards - Available in most sporting goods stores. These are simple mouthguards that sit over the detention and require the athlete to bite/clench teeth together to keep it in the mouth and offer minimal protection
Concussion awareness is more prevalent than ever, make sure the equipment is up to standard, helmets, face masks and mouth guards