Play Safe – Wear a Mouth Guard when Playing Sports

Playing sports is about having fun, but safety must always be the first priority. The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association recommends mouth guards to be used by players in practices and games in a range of contact and non-contact, competitive, and non-competitive sports. They include, but are not limited to, ice hockey, field hockey, martial arts, basketball skiing, bicycling, soccer, softball, lacrosse, rugby, inline skating, and skateboarding. A mouth guard is a horseshoe-shaped, soft plastic device made to fit your teeth, to protect your teeth, lips, gums, and cheeks from sports related injuries. In several studies, mouth guards have also been found to reduce the number of concussions occurring during sports activities, by decreasing the force of the injury.

Dental injuries are the most common type of oral and facial injury to occur during sports activities. The good news is most of these dental injuries are preventable by wearing a sports mouth guard. Mouth guards can help prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries annually. Statistics show that every athlete has about a 10% chance per season of having an oral injury and/or accident occur.

Some common traumas that can occur to teeth while keeping active are tooth fractures (some of which may not be easily repaired), tooth avulsion (when the entire tooth is knocked out of the mouth), and tooth intrusion (when the entire tooth is pushed into the gums). Any one of these dental accidents requires immediate medical or dental attention to increase the chances of a successful treatment and outcome. Therefore, a properly fitted sports mouth guard can certainly prevent a range of injuries.

At Maple Dental Hygiene Care, Pina Mazza, Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), can properly construct mouth guards and can be made in a variety of colors to make them easier to find and decrease the chances of children losing them.
Dental guards are easy to care for. Your mouth guard should be rinsed with cold water after use and cleaned using a toothbrush and toothpaste after each time it is used. Your mouth guard should be stored in a clean, firm, perforated container to prevent damage and permit air circulation. Never wrap a mouth guard in kleenex because it is often thrown out by mistake, and never share your sports mouth guard with others.

Under normal wear, your mouth guard should be replaced every 2-3 years and it should be checked at each dental hygiene visit. Sports mouth guards can protect more than your mouth because they can protect against and reduce the risk of dental injuries. Please use them to ensure you play safe.

Visit Maple Dental Hygiene Care for your custom sports mouth guard in Vaughan.

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