Summer is the perfect time to play outside. From skateboarding and basketball to trampolines and bicycling, many of the fun outdoor activities you and your kids enjoy can also be quite dangerous without proper protection. To keep your family’s teeth and gums safe, make sure you always wear a mouthguard. This article will discuss the benefits of mouthguards and the types of mouth protection available.

The Importance of Mouthguards
When playing any contact sport or recreational activity, there is a risk of an injury to the head and face. That’s why it is important to wear mouthguards — flexible plastic appliances that fit over the teeth and gums to protect them from damage. Properly fitted mouthguards absorb the impact of a blow to the face, thus minimizing the extent of a painful injury.

Mouthguards can prevent many oral injuries such as dislocated jaw bones, knocked-out teeth, lacerations to the tongue or gum tissue, and chipped or cracked teeth. In fact, the American Dental Association estimates that mouthguards prevent 200,000 injuries to the face and mouth each year. Likewise, athletes who do not wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain an injury to the teeth.

Choosing a Mouthguard
Not all mouthguards are created equal. The best type is one that has been custom-fitted for your specific bite. A mouthguard that fits properly will provide the optimal amount of protection against injury. Other mouthguards are available, such as stock mouthguards, and boil and bite protectors, but these devices offer little to no customization and may cause irritation to your mouth.

Getting a mouthguard made is a quick and easy process. Your dentist can customize a mouthguard for you or your child to ensure optimal fit, comfort and protection for the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth. To make the mouthguard, we will first make an impression of your mouth and teeth during an appointment at our office. After the mouthguard is made, we will make sure it fits properly, and provide tips on proper care and maintenance.

Accidents Happen
At McLean DDS, we know that injuries to the mouth and teeth can happen, even when you are wearing the right protection. If you or your child experiences a serious dental injury, contact our office immediately. If a permanent tooth is chipped, cracked or dislodged, time is of essence to preserve the natural tooth and prevent further damage. A cold compress can help ease pain and swelling. If a tooth has been knocked out completely, rinse and store the tooth in milk, not water, until you can get to the dentist.

Play It Safe!
Summer is almost here! As you gear up for warm-weather activities with your kids, don’t forget to play it safe with a mouthguard! A custom-made mouthguard is an indispensable piece of equipment — especially when it could save you from the pain and inconvenience of restoring or replacing your teeth. Contact our office today to learn more.

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