Belmont, MA Dentist

When you are preparing for sports practice or a game, you wouldn’t dream of going without your uniform. If you are playing a contact sport like football or hockey, you always have a helmet and pads on before going near the field or rink. However, if you aren’t using a sports mouth guard for your practices and matches, you are missing a vital piece of protective gear.

From 1990-2003, an average of 22,000 dental injuries annually affected children less than 18 years of age. Each year, an estimated 13-39% of all dental injuries occur while playing sports. Since mouth guards were made a mandatory part of American football, about 200,000 injuries to the mouth and teeth have been prevented annually. The majority of sport-related dental injuries occurred in the upper lip, maxilla, and maxillary incisors.

However, the dangers of tooth and mouth injury do not end with contact sports. In fact, recent studies have found that today’s basketball players are far more likely to suffer injury to the face, mouth, and teeth than football players. For these sports, contact comes from ball, ground, hoop, or other surface rather than other players, so mouth guards are not currently required by most schools and many teams.

The American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) has classified mouthguards into 3 categories:

  • Type I – Custom-fabricated mouthguards are produced on a dental model of the patient’s mouth by either the vacuum-forming or heat-pressure lamination technique.
  • Type II – Mouth-formed, also known as boil-and-bite, mouthguards are made from a thermoplastic material adapted to the mouth by finger, tongue, and biting pressure after immersing the appliance in hot water.
  • Type III – Stock mouthguards are purchased over-thecounter. They are designed for use without any modification and must be held in place by clenching the teeth together to provide a protective benefit

Protect your teeth with a custom fabricated sports mouth guard. Ask Dr. Diune and Dr. Chow about custom-fit mouthguards to keep you safe while you play.