Did you know that April is National Facial Protection Month? This is a time to raise awareness about the importance of wearing mouthguards. A mouthguard is a piece of plastic that fits over your teeth and helps protect them from injuries. Wearing a mouthguard can prevent many dental problems, including tooth loss, chipped teeth, fractures, and even concussions! In this blog post, we will discuss the different dental problems that can be avoided by using a mouthguard.
What is a mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a piece of plastic that fits over your teeth and helps protect them from injuries. Mouthguards are usually worn during sports, but they can also be worn at night to help prevent grinding of the teeth (bruxism). There are three different types of mouthguards:
– Stock mouthguards: These are the least expensive and are ready-made. They are not as comfortable or effective as the other types of mouthguards.
– Boil-and-bite mouthguards: These are made from a piece of plastic that you soften in boiling water and then bite into to form it to your teeth. These are more comfortable and effective than stock mouthguards, but they can still be bulky. Be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Approval to get the best over the counter mouthguard.
– Custom-made mouthguards: These are made by your dentist to fit your teeth exactly. They are the most comfortable and effective type of mouthguard, but they are also the most expensive.
Why should you wear a mouthguard?
There are many reasons why you should wear a mouthguard, but the most important reason is to protect your teeth! Here are some other reasons why you should wear a mouthguard:
– To prevent tooth loss:
A blow to the face can cause your teeth to be knocked out. Depending on the damage, knocked out teeth may be restored, but in many cases they need to be replaced by a dental prosthetic, such as an implant. Wearing a mouthguard can help protect your teeth and reduce the risk of tooth loss.
– To prevent chipped teeth:
A blow to the face can also cause your teeth to chip. Chipped teeth can be painful and require treatment by a dentist. Besides affecting the look of your smile, chipped teeth can also allow bacteria inside the tooth, which increases your risk of developing a pulp infection. Wearing a mouthguard can help prevent chipped teeth.
– To prevent fractures:
A blow to the face can cause a fracture of the jawbone or the teeth. Treatment of a jaw fracture usually requires surgery, which can be costly and may require a lengthy recovery period. A tooth fracture can usually be restored when it occurs on the crown, however fractures that occur on the tooth roots are harder to treat. Oftentimes, a tooth with fractured roots will need to be extracted to prevent infection. Wearing a mouthguard can help prevent fractures of both the teeth and jaw.
– To prevent concussions:
A concussion is a type of brain injury that can occur after a blow to the head. Concussions can cause symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. In some cases, concussions can also cause long-term damage. Wearing a mouthguard can help reduce the risk of concussions by absorbing some of the impact from a blow to the face.
Mouthguards are an important part of protecting your teeth and should be worn any time you are participating in a sport or activity where there is a risk of injury to the face. Custom-made mouthguards are the most effective, but even stock mouthguards can provide some protection. Be sure to talk to your dentist about which type of mouthguard is right for you.
Happy National Facial Protection Month! Wear a mouthguard and help protect your smile!
Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry. He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.