You have a beautiful smile, and you’ve been following a committed routine to keep it that way, brushing and flossing religiously and visiting our Fort Worth dental office for regular check-ups.
You also like to stay healthy; you eat well and stay active by playing sports. Unfortunately, sports accidents can happen in an instant, and the result could be severe damage to your smile, including chipped, cracked, or broken teeth.
Sports guards are an excellent way to protect your teeth and keep them healthy so that you can enjoy the games you love without having to worry about an errant fly ball or a rougher than usual tackle.
At Fort Worth Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we want to help you protect the investment you’ve made in your smile with a custom-fitted sports guard for you and anyone else in your family who enjoys sports.
Do I Really Need a Sports Guard?
If you participate in any type of sport where a ball, puck, or body parts might behave erratically and unpredictably, absolutely. That means any of these activities:
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive. If you are participating in an activity that could involve an injury to your face, you probably need a sports guard!
No matter how skilled you are at your sport or activity, accidents happen. We’ve all seen batters beaned by wild pitches and face plants after a tackle. If that’s you and you’re not wearing a sports guard, then you’re risking a great deal of discomfort and expense repairing damaged teeth.
What Issues Can a Sports Guard Prevent?
Here at Fort Worth Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we’ve seen all kinds of dental emergencies, and many of them were caused by sports injuries. When an object comes flying at your face and hits you at high speed, the results can be devastating.
Some of the injuries you might incur include:
- Chipped teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Broken teeth
- Teeth that have been knocked loose
- Knocked-out teeth
- Injuries to the soft tissue, such as tongue, lips, gums, and palate
- Injuries to the jaw bone and muscles
- Injuries to the sinuses and the bones of the face
Some of these injuries can be treated with filling material in a single appointment. Some will require more extensive restorations with crowns, bridges, or dental implants. Others may require surgery to repair. We don’t think it’s worth the risk when an inexpensive mouth guard for sports can prevent these types of injuries.
Note: If you suffer an injury to your head and have any symptoms that may indicate a concussion (blacking out, nausea and/or vomiting, dizziness) or if you suspect a broken jaw, please seek emergency medical care immediately.
What About the Sports Guards at the Store?
Many drugstores and sporting goods stores stock sports guards. These are okay in a pinch, but the problem with these is that they are a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Let’s be honest here – everyone’s mouth is different. While a generic sports guard is better than nothing, it won’t protect your mouth in the same way that a customized sports guard from your dentist will.
How Do I Get a Sports Guard?
The first step is to call our office and schedule your appointment with Fort Worth dentist Dr. Nikki Green. At your appointment, Dr. Green will discuss what type of sports or activity you plan to participate, in and we’ll take some impressions of your teeth.
Dr. Green will then use these impressions to design a customized sports guard made to fit the unique shape and contours of your mouth. In most cases, only a top guard is needed, but if you or your child has an appliance that fits over your lower teeth or if you are wearing braces, then you may also need a guard for the bottom teeth as well.
Dr. Green will discuss your options with you and make sure that you have a sports guard that fits well – after all, if your guard isn’t comfortable, you may not be inclined to use it. And sports guards don’t work when they are sitting on your nightstand at home!
Caring for Your Sports Guard
As you travel around to engage in your activity, you’ll need to protect your sports guard to prevent it from becoming damaged. A damaged sports guard won’t fit properly and could actually cause injury to your teeth instead of protecting them. Store your sports guard in its case when it’s not in your mouth. Don’t just toss it into your duffel bag.
Clean your sports guard after every use. Dr. Green will show you the proper way to keep your guard clean. This will prevent bacteria or other nasties from accumulating on your guard so that you stay healthy.
Are you ready to find out more about custom sports guards? Call our Fort Worth dental practice today at (817) 737-6601 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Green!