It’s the start of baseball and softball season. These games, which are still touted to be one of America’s favorite pastimes, are responsible for numerous dental emergencies every year. That doesn’t mean you are your children should not participate in this sport, it just means you should take some caution. It’s not the only sport in which today’s youth athlete suffers dental injuries, in fact, any sport can cause some type of dental injury—although any sport in which a ball is tossed at high speeds toward another person is a likely candidate for a potential mouth injury. It is estimated that nearly twenty percent of all sports injuries are dental injuries. But, many of these (not all, but many) of these injuries can be prevented or at the very least, reduced in severity with the addition of a mouth guard. Kids, especially young kids who are not used to the way a mouth guard feels against their teeth and gums, generally remove the mouth guard, or maneuver the mouth guard out of position in the mouth for comfort. Out of position, the mouth guard unfortunately wont be in the correct position to protect the mouth in a case of emergency.
There are ways to make the mouth guard more comfortable. First, fit the mouth guard properly to the surfaces of the teeth and gums. There are a few different types of mouth guards: mouth guards that are already form-fitted; guards that require some boiling time in hot water, to soften the rubbery material of the mouth guard, so that when it cools, hardening into a stiff shape, it will cool against the teeth and the gums in the correct shape of the mouth. Your Periodontist may also correct-fit your mouth with a custom mouth guard. The most effective mouth guard is one in which the athlete will wear it comfortably always during times of play; the guard will be resistant to tearing and biting—it is being placed against the surfaces of the teeth—and, it should be able to be cleaned easily.
If you are looking for a Billings Dentist to create a custom fit mouth guard for you or your athlete, please contact Brian Francis, DMD!