Whether it is a helmet under the chin or an elbow to the face, an unintentional
collision during a contact sport like football or basketball can lead
to permanently damaged teeth or a dislocated jaw. Wearing a mouthguard
provides a barrier between the teeth and protects against orofacial injuries
to the teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue.
The American Dental Association (ADA) classifies mouthguards as the most
valuable protection when it comes to preventing mouth-related injuries
in contact sports. The association led a successful campaign resulting
in the mandatory use of mouthguards for college athletes participating
in ice hockey, lacrosse, field hockey and football. Now the ADA advocates
wearing mouth guards in 29 sports/exercise activities and is helping raise
awareness of their value in high school, middle school and younger athletes
too. According to the National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention
of Athletic Injuries, athletes who do not wear mouthguards are 60 times
more likely to damage their teeth. It also estimates more than 20,000
injuries are prevented each year by athletes who incorporate mouth guards
into their standard sporting equipment.
“Most sports-related oral injuries have long-term consequences,”
said David Darab, DDS an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with Darab, Richardson
& Hill. “These injuries can affect speech, nutrition, self-confidence,
Mouthguards provide protection, not only for teeth, but also the lining
of the cheek, the jaw and the temporomandibularjoint. Drs. Darab and Richardson
encourage patients to consider a mouthguard as an essential piece of athletic
gear from an early age.
“Our practice is strongly committed to the oral health of area student
athletes. We donate hundreds of mouthguards to high school athletes every
year. We are partial to Shock Doctor™ mouthguards because of the
superior shock-absorbing capabilities and a design that provides the best
position to brace against impact,” said Dr. Darab.
Drs. Darab and Richardson offer the following tips to care for a sports
- Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
- Occasionally clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
- Transport the mouthguard in a sturdy ventilated container
- Never leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water
- Check for wear and tear to see if it needs replacing
Drs. Darab and Richardson, both board certified Oral and Maxillofacial
Surgeons on staff at CVMC, are currently scheduling patients at their
practice, Darab, Richardson & Hill in Hickory, Lincolnton and Statesville.
To make an appointment or to inquire about the necessity of a sports mouthguard,
please call their office at 828-322-1667.