It’s awesome that more young people than ever are being active and taking part in high school sports like football, hockey, and soccer! At Timberhill Dental we care about the overall health and well-being of everyone in the Corvallis area which is why we celebrate what we call Mouthguard Day.
In today’s post, we’ll talk a bit about what Mouthguard Day means to us and why it’s so important for young athletes to protect their teeth!
Timberhill Dental’s 2016 Mouthguard Day
Here at Timberhill Dental, we celebrated another successful Mouthguard Day back in September. Each year, we invite local high school athletes from the Corvallis High School Spartans and the Crescent Valley High School Raiders to our office to have customized sports mouthguards made– completely free of charge.
This year, we made mouthguards for 60 football players! All told, this donation saved the school around $20,000 and will protect the healthy teeth of these great young athletes.
Dr. Kurt S. Black of Timberhill Dental says,
“This year’s mouthguard day was another great success! It’s great to meet such wonderful young men and provide them with a customized mouthguard that will protect their teeth. I hope both teams have a terrific season!
When my two boys were young and playing contact sports, I realized how important it was to have a customized mouthguard that would really protect their teeth. At Timberhill Dental, we love to do community service and thought that providing mouthguards to high school football players would be a lot of fun!
That was 10 years ago and now Mouthguard Day is something we all look forward to.”
Why Dental Mouthguards?
Athletics are a great way to stay physically fit, build teamwork and leadership skills, make friends, and have many other benefits, too. But it’s important to remember that contact sports like hockey and football have risks associated with them– especially when it comes to a player’s teeth.
Most high school students have a full set of adult teeth, so if one gets broken or damaged, that person can be faced with a lifetime of dental problems. The best thing to do is to protect your natural teeth as long as possible. That’s where our custom mouthguards come in.
Do they work? Last year the father of a Crescent Valley High School player called me to personally thank me for his son’s mouthguard. His son, Ryan, had been hit pretty hard in the mouth during a football game. He went to the emergency room to get checked out and the doctor said that the mouthguard he was wearing saved his teeth. Just one story like that makes it all worthwhile to us.
Custom or Over-the-Counter Mouthguards?
The best mouthguard is one that you’re wearing. If a mouthguard is uncomfortable, doesn’t fit properly, or is annoying to wear, it won’t do you any good if it’s sitting on your bedside table!
Many of our patients at Timberhill Dental find that custom-made dental mouthguards provide the most comfortable fit and offer the best protection against injuries. Plus they are more durable than many over-the-counter varieties.
Do All Athletes Need to Wear a Mouthguard?
It really depends on the sport and its requirements. As a dentist, I can say that a mouthguard will prevent serious injury. For instance, a 17-year-old ice hockey player was hit in the mouth with a puck. It caused a severe laceration on the upper lip. However, he didn’t lose any teeth because he was wearing a custom fit mouthguard device. The more likely a sport is to result in an injury to the head or face (either from a ball, a piece of equipment, or another player), the more valuable a dental mouthguard will be.
If you have questions about whether a dental mouthguard is right for you or your child, feel free to schedule an appointment with me. I’d love to talk to you more about your options.
Do Mouthguards Help Prevent Brain Injuries?
The jury’s still out on this one, but there is some promising research taking place. One thing to note, however, is that some studies are showing that when it comes to reducing brain injuries, the key is a properly fit mouthguard– which means one that is custom made. But it really is still too early to tell whether mouthguards have a significant effect on brain injury prevention.
What About Mouthguards For Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?
Even if your high school glory days are behind you, you might still benefit from a dental mouthguard. Millions of people grind their teeth (a medical condition called bruxism) at night due to factors like:
- Misaligned bite
- Sleep disorders like sleep apnea
If you’re grinding your teeth, eventually they can wear down, chip, and even crack. A dental mouthguard worn at night offers your teeth protection if you’re a tooth grinder. However, often it’s best to look for and resolve the root cause of tooth grinding– especially if it’s a potentially serious condition like sleep apnea.
Tooth grinding is often hard for people to diagnose on their own. Ask your partner if they ever hear you grinding your teeth while you sleep. Or if you sleep alone but wake up with headaches or sore jaw muscles, ask your dentist to see if he or she can spot any signs of tooth grinding.
At Timberhill Dental, our mouthguards are made in our office with just a simple impression. It’s a short appointment that lasts about 10 minutes. Our in-house lab uses a Pro-Form laminate material which is a vinyl acetate that is heated then vacuum suctioned to a precision fit. It’s really amazing.
Want to Learn More About Dental Mouthguards?
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Black at Timberhill Dental in Corvallis today. We’d love to talk to you about your options and help protect your teeth and the teeth of any young athletes in your family.
Photo credit: bambe1964 via Visual hunt / CC BY-ND
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