As a dentist in Sheffield, we are no strangers to the excitement and energy of the sporting world. It's thrilling to see our patients excel on the field, court, or track. However, our focus always remains on one thing – your oral health. This is where sports mouthguards enter the game. They might not seem like the most glamorous accessory, but their role is critical.
The 'Why' of Sports Mouthguards
Imagine this: you're in the middle of an intense soccer match, and the ball unexpectedly smacks you right in the face. Aside from the surprise and potential embarrassment, without a mouthguard, there's a risk of damaging your teeth. But with one, the force of the impact spreads across the mouthguard material, significantly reducing the risk of injury.
Mouthguards act as shock absorbers, guarding your teeth, gums, and jaw against impacts that could lead to painful and costly injuries. They protect against chipped or broken teeth, cuts to the lips and tongue, and even more severe injuries like jaw fractures or concussions.
Not All Mouthguards Are Created Equal
Just as every mouth is unique, so too should be every mouthguard. While store-bought, "one-size-fits-all" mouthguards are available, they often provide less protection and can be uncomfortable to wear. They may not fit well, can inhibit speech and breathing, and typically don't last as long.
Custom-fit mouthguards, on the other hand, are designed specifically for your mouth, providing superior comfort and protection. At our dentist in Sheffield we take an impression of your teeth, and a mouthguard is moulded to that exact shape, ensuring a snug and secure fit. This personalised fit doesn't just offer better protection; it also means athletes can focus on their performance instead of a bothersome mouthpiece.
Making Mouthguards a Sporting Staple
One might think that mouthguards are only necessary for contact sports like football or hockey. However, even in non-contact sports or recreational activities, there's still a risk of oral injury. Any sport that involves moving objects, hard surfaces, or potential falls can pose a danger to your teeth. From basketball and baseball to skateboarding and gymnastics, wearing a mouthguard should be just as fundamental as lacing up your shoes.
The Long Game – Mouthguard Care and Replacement
A mouthguard can only provide optimal protection if it's cared for properly. Regular cleaning with mild soap and cool water, followed by air-drying, can help maintain its condition. It's also important to keep it in a sturdy, ventilated case to protect it from damage and bacteria.
Additionally, it's worth noting that mouthguards, like sports gear, aren't forever. They need to be replaced over time, especially for children and teenagers, whose mouths are still growing and changing. We typically recommend a new mouthguard at the start of each sports season.
Your Dental Team – Your Biggest Fans
Our dentist in Sheffield is more than just your dental healthcare providers – consider us your cheerleaders when it comes to oral safety in sports. We're here to provide expert advice, create custom mouthguards, and support your journey towards both athletic and oral health success.
In closing, remember, the best offence is a good defence. Wearing a sports mouthguard is an easy, effective step you can take to protect your valuable smile while you're out there giving your all. After all, every champion deserves a winning grin!