From hockey tournaments, ringette camps and ice-skating competitions – winter sports bring fun physical activities to the cold, dark days of a Calgary winter. But along with fun and exercise – these sports can pose some risks for injuries and trauma – especially to the face thanks to a wayward puck or elbow. Participating in recreational activities is important – but so is taking the necessary precautions to protect your smile.
Do Sports Guards Help?
Family Dentists in NW Calgary at Ranchlands Dental encourage all athletes, whether weekend warriors or budding professionals to wear a sports guard to prevent injury to teeth, gums and bone. Mandatory in certain sports – the use of a sports guard can make all the difference between picking broken teeth up off the ice or just having to deal with some impressive bruises. There’s a reason why professional athletes wear mouth protection – they realize that once the game is over life goes on and so does the need to have a healthy smile and teeth. Worn on the top teeth – a sports guard is designed to completely cover the top teeth and gum tissue but may also be worn on lower teeth if recommended by your dentist. Bulky due to protective layers – a sports guard acts like a cushion for the athlete to bite in to during impact – lessening the damaging effects of clenching.
Can a Sports Guard Prevent a Concussion?
Dentists at Ranchlands Dental explain that preventing a concussion requires a lot more protective equipment than just a sports guard – and can occur in high contact sports even when helmets, padding and bite guards are being worn. But what a sports guard does do is lessen the force exerted on teeth and surrounding bone during impact. When an athlete anticipates a check or collision the tendency is to clench – creating extreme pressure on teeth, jaw and jaw joint. A sports guard can reduce the force created by clenching – and provide the essential protection to teeth.
An ideal sports guard is comfortable to wear and does not restrict breathing – it stays in place during physical exertion and enables the athlete to communicate. Though not loved by those who wear one – a sports guard greatly reduces the risk of serious trauma to the mouth – so if you’re not already wearing one start today.