A: Did you wear a helmet when you rode your bike as a kid? I know I didn’t, and neither did any of my friends. Now, it seems like every kid riding a bike is wearing their helmet (and they should)! Awareness of head trauma and concussions has encouraged the usage of helmets, and they are much more “accepted” today. Fortunately, the use of mouthguards is beginning to become much more accepted, and are required for more sports activities each year. I hope the trend continues.
As participation in sports has increased over the years, so has the number of injuries. Studies have reported that sport related injuries account for approximately 36% of all unintentional injuries. According to the American Dental Association, 10-20% of sports injuries occur to the face, jaws, and teeth. Unfortunately, injuries to teeth are the most common type of facial injury, and an athlete that does not wear a mouthguard is 60 times more likely to have damage to their teeth.
So, do you have to wear a mouthguard? Absolutely! Any sport where there can be contact to the head should require a mouthguard. Can you wear a mouthguard when you have braces? Definitely! In fact, just ask your orthodontist for a mouthguard, and they would love to give you one! What about after braces? When orthodontic treatment is complete, your orthodontist or dentist can provide you with a custom-made mouthguard that would provide maximum protection and comfort.
Good luck this season, and don’t forget your mouthguard!
Information provided by Kyle R. Mann D.D.S., M.S., Mann Orthodontics, PLLC, 1551 S.E. Third St., Suite 200, (515) 986-4009, Grimes, www.mannorthodontics.com.