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Sport guards – why do you need one?

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With summer coming to an end, the new school year marks the beginning of the organized sports season.

Be it hockey, soccer, football or basketball, contact sports always bring a higher risk of facial injury and tooth trauma. Studies have shown that the risk of dental injury nearly double when comparing athletes with and without sport guards. With the addition of a couple new toys to our arsenal, JVR Dental is now equipped to make sports guards to meet any athletic demands.

From personal experience, the thermoplastic sports guards were never the right solution. They were bulky, did not fit to my teeth as well and were a general nuisance to wear. As a result, I toughed out three seasons of basketball with my braces on which was a disaster for my gums. Every time I took a ball to the face, I knew that I would have to tend to torn gums for the next week. A custom fit mouth guard  would have been a much better option had I known at the time.

Risk

Common sports related dental injuries range from simple chips to more complex problems. A deflected hockey puck, careless elbow or a high stick can produce enough force to fracture teeth or even knock them out of their sockets entirely. Compromised teeth can have a questionable long-term prognosis. They can also damage surrounding tissues such as the lips and gums.  However with the proper precautions, these risks can be reduced.

Benefits

Sport guards help to prevent injuries by absorbing the force on impact along with:

  • Protecting the teeth from physical trauma

  • Protecting the tongue and lip from teeth and other objects

  • Protecting teeth for those with tooth grinding or clenching habits during physical activities

 

Full Face Shield

A common question is, why is a  sport guard needed when I am wearing a full face shield that protects my entire head from physical contact? The answer is simple. A face shield blocks the teeth from direct outside contact but still does not protect the teeth and gums from themselves. The face shield may protect a player from the errant high elbow but the force from the blow may cause the recipient to snap their jaws together, leading to a lacerated tongue, cheek or lip. A mouth guard along with the shield will lead to much better and more thorough protection.

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