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Sports Mouthguard


A child wearing a mouthguard with his boxing gearSports-related injuries account for approximately 36 percent of injuries among children and adolescents. Out of these injuries, about 10-20 percent are maxillofacial injuries, according to the American Dental Association.

Prevention of Dental Injuries


Most facial and dental injuries can easily be prevented. Experts recommend athletes wear mouthguards while they are participating in sports like soccer, football, basketball, rugby, martial arts, wrestling, boxing, weightlifting, skiing, skydiving, skateboarding, surfing, ice hockey, and gymnastics. At Simi Hills Dental, we believe that mouthguards should be worn while participating in any kind of sports activity.

How Do Sports Mouthguards Work?


Sports mouthguards cover the upper arch of teeth and are designed to protect against fractured, chipped, or knocked-out teeth, cut lips and tongue, and other damage to the mouth. If you wear metal braces, we recommend you also use mouthguards on your lower teeth as well.

Types of Dental Injuries that Can Be Prevented by Mouthguards


Dental injuries can be categorized into various types. Some common ones are described below:
•  Tooth Fracture: A tooth is said to be fractured when it cracks, breaks, or chips due to a facial injury. When this happens, stabilize the portion of the tooth still in your mouth by gently biting down on a towel to control the bleeding. The tooth fragment should be stored beneath the athlete’s tongue, or inside a saline solution or milk. The athlete and the tooth fragments should then be immediately taken to Simi Hills Dental.
•  Avulsion: Tooth avulsion occurs when your entire tooth, along with its root, is knocked out of the mouth. This sort of thing can happen during sports like boxing and martial arts. Handle the knocked-out tooth with care by holding it by its crown rather than the root. If it is dirty, rinse it water, but do not brush or scrub it. Place the tooth inside a bag of milk or saline solution and bring it with you. We may be able to reimplant it back into your mouth. Chances of successful reimplantation deteriorate rapidly after two hours.
•  Luxation: This occurs when the tooth becomes loose in the socket but is in a wrong position. If your tooth looks longer than your surrounding teeth, it means it has extruded. If your tooth is pushed back or pushed forward, your tooth is laterally displaced. In both these cases, the tooth will need to be put back into position by gently but firmly pinching it between the fingers. However, if your tooth is pushed down into the gum, it may need surgical intervention. Do not touch the tooth and quickly come to Simi Hills Dental.

Timing is crucial for the successful treatment of dental injuries. Also, remember that these injuries can easily be avoided by wearing a sports mouthguard.

Selecting a Sports Mouthguard


There are three basic types of mouthguards available.
•  Stock mouthguards can be bought from any sport goods store or pharmacy, but they come in very few sizes and are generally ill-fitting. As such, they do not provide adequate protection from injuries.
•  Boil-and-bite mouthguards are designed to soften when boiled in water. These mouthguards can then be molded into the appropriate shape when placed in the mouth and gently bitten. These mouthguards are a better fit than stock mouthguards. However, the best sports mouthguards are custom-fitted ones made at Simi Hills Dental. These mouthguards are created by taking an impression from your mouth and then fabricated in a dental lab. As a result, they offer superior fit, more comfort, and better protection from injuries.
•  Custom-made mouthguards can last you a whole season. Many athletes get new mouthguards made at their six-monthly dental checkup.

If you want one for yourself, contact us at (805) 317-4999 today.
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