Mouth guards have become increasingly popular in recent years as a vital piece of protective equipment across a wide variety of sports. In this post, we examine the question of what a mouthguard is used for. In a later post, we will also explain the key features you should look for when choosing a mouth guard for use.
Preventing damage to teeth
Probably the most obvious answer to the question of what a mouthguard is used for is prevention of damage to the user’s teeth. Although obvious, it is nevertheless an important factor. The costs of repairing broken teeth, or replacing knocked out teeth, can rise into the thousands of dollars. In sports such as hockey or basketball, the risk of incurring this type of injury from a blow to the face from an elbow, puck or hockey stick is not negligible. By comparison, a high quality mouth guard will cost no more than $20 or $30. If you view the question this way, it is clear that purchasing a mouth guard is an extremely cost effective measure to avoid the expense of replacing or repairing severe damage to your teeth.
A MouthGuard Can Help Protect The Lips, Tongue & Inner Cheek Lining
In addition to protecting the teeth, a mouth guard can protect the lips and other parts of the mouth from damage caused by accidental contact with another athlete or with his or her equipment. The costs of repairing this type of damage is usually less than that of treating damaged teeth. However, these injuries can nevertheless be quite painful and inhibit normal daility functions like eating or speech until they heal.
A third, less widely known, answer to the question of what a mouthguard is used for is to reduce the risk of jaw fracture from a direct blow to the face, and the jaw in particular. In this situation, a mouth guard can help by absorbing some of the shock of the blow. A 2005 NIH study indicated that mouthguards can reduce the impact of blows to the underside of the mandibular (or lower jaw), although the same report indicated that additional studies are needed to reach a definitive conclusion.
A MouthGuard Can Help To Prevent Damage To Orthodontic Appliances
Another important answer to the question of what a mouthguard is used for applies to athletes who are wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances while playing contact sports. Without a mouth guard, an athlete wearing such devices can experience severe injuries from even a mild blow to the mouth. These injuries can include lacerations to the tongue and the inside lining of the cheeks. A mouth guard like the Shock Doctor Braces Mouth Guard that is designed to protect these appliances will help to avoid these injuries.
In this post, we have briefly explained the key reasons to wear a mouthguard for sports or physical activity. A future post will examine the features of the best mouthguards in order to provide guidance for you to follow when choosing one for your or your athletes’ use.