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A Mouthguard for Baseball? Really?

by John M. Khoury, Jr. DDS

Friday, April 01, 2011

A mouth guard for baseball, really? Yes, really. While mouth guards are not required equipment in many sports, wearing one is a wise precaution for athletes of any age and ability. According to research by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry nearly half of all sports-related mouth injuries occur in baseball and basketball. Whenever an athlete participates in an activity with a risk of falls or head contact with other players or equipment a mouth guard is a good idea, especially if the athlete wears braces.

According to Sportsguard Laboratory, more than 5 million teeth are knocked out each year during sports and the majority of these injuries are preventable. Mouth guards are designed to help cushion the mouth, teeth and jaw, preventing significant damage where sports injuries are most prevalent.

Most athletic mouth guards are made of soft plastic and are adapted to fit comfortably. Increasingly organized sports are requiring mouth guards. Sports companies are even offering them in team colors.

Any mouth guard is better than no mouth guard, find one your child will wear. Boil to fit options are available at most sporting good stores. The cost of a mouth guard is small compared to the cost of dental repairs if an injury that could have been avoided occurs. There are three main mouth guard options:

  • Custom-Made. Formed by a dentist from a cast model of your teeth, these custom-made guards are designed to cover all the teeth and are shown to be the best type of protection. Custom-made mouth guards are more expensive than commercially produced mouthpieces, but they can offer the best possible fit and protection and are the most comfortable.
  • Mouth-Formed. These guards are generally made of acrylic gel or thermoplastic materials shaped to fit the contours of your teeth. They are placed in boiling water then formed and molded to the teeth and are available at sporting good stores.
  • Ready-Made Stock. Commercially produced, off-the-shelf mouth guards are the least expensive, least comfortable and the least effective protective mouthpieces AND they are still better than no mouth guard.

Compete, have fun and protect your teeth.

For more information call (248) 969-SMILE or visit www.OxfordSmileCenter.com Dr. Khoury supports the local community with programs such as Halloween candy buy-back, Donated Dental Services, elementary educational visits and support of school athletic programs.