Play It Safe with a Sports Mouthguard

Get your athletes ready for spring and summer sports! One essential piece of equipment for many sports is a custom-fit sports mouthguard. It will help protect against injury to the face and teeth, as well as lessening the severity of concussion. At Horizon Dental, we can customize your mouthguard with your name, team colours, and logo!

Spring in Kamloops means that it’s time to get outside and play! Registration is open for soccer, football, lacrosse, and more! So, while you’re gathering all the necessary equipment, I suggest you also talk to your dentist about a custom-fit sports mouthguard.

A mouthguard is a made of a soft plastic material and is fitting around the top teeth. It is essential for preventing injury to the teeth, tongue, lips, cheeks, and brain while playing many popular sports.

The Canadian Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouthguards for the following sports: acrobatics, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling.

Research shows that an athlete is 60 times more likely to damage his/her teeth when not wearing a protective mouthguard. These painful injuries include broken or cracked teeth, lost teeth, jaw and joint fractures, cuts, and infections.

Recently, we’ve learned that a customized mouthguard can also reduce the severity of concussions, by lessening the force of an impact by stabilizing the jaw and neck. Up to 95% of concussions are transmitted through the lower jaw to the brain.

Facts About Mouthguards

You should replace your mouthguard every 6 months or sooner if it’s worn out.

Mouthguards must be washed after every use to prevent bacterial growth. Simply scrub out the mouthguard with a toothbrush and rinse under cold water before storing in your container.

For many sports, such as hockey, combining a face-shield and mouthguard will provide optimal protection. The cage can deflect sticks, pucks, and elbows, but the mouthguard is also needed to help absorb and disperse any impact to the cage or helmet.

Selecting a Mouthguard

There are three primary types of mouthguards available:

  1. Ready-made stock. These are inexpensive mouthguards and come in various sizes, but may not fit well and can make it difficult to breath or speak.
  2. Boil-and-bite. A boil-and-bite mouthguard offers a semi-custom fit and usually ranges between $10 and $25.
  3. Custom-fit. This is the best option for anyone that participates in any high-impact sport and for kids who wear braces. Because they are custom-made in our dental office, they offer a proper fit and the best protection. It’s also easier to talk around them so you can communicate with your teammates.

We can also customize your sports mouthguard with your name, team colours, logo!

At Horizon Dental, we charge $45 for a custom sports mouthguard. All we need is an impression, or mold, of your teeth. Is gagging a problem? We can do a digital scan instead – no messy impression material required. Click on the video below to see a demonstration of our TRIOS Digital Scanner.

I hope this post got you thinking. If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear from you. If you like what you see, please share with your friends and follow me on Google +, Facebook, or Instagram!

And if you’re looking for a dentist in Kamloops, we are happily accepting new patients! You can contact us by clicking here!

How to Handle Common Dental Emergencies this Holiday Season

We all make plans over the holidays - but no one plans for a dental emergency! So, let's look at how to handle the most common dental emergencies, just in case!

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas with plans winding down. Not a dentist was working, it seemed in our town.”

And most dentists in Kamloops, myself included, will be closed at some point during the holidays – possibly for several weeks. December is also a very busy month, as we try to get the most out of patients’ yearly benefits before they renew in January.

So if you run into any trouble, here’s my advice for handling 5 Common Dental Emergencies:

1) Missing Fillings –  might be sensitive or sharp to the tongue but most teeth will be okay. Best way to cope is grab some orthodontic wax from the drugstore and use that to fill the hole. It will insulate the tooth from cold and keep food from getting stuck.

2) Missing Crown – just don’t swallow it and everything will be fine! Gently clean and dry the tooth and crown as best you can, stick toothpaste in the crown and gently replace it over the tooth. Your dentist can usually put it back permanently later.

3) Chipped or Broken Tooth – if the nerve isn’t exposed, refer to #1. If there is cheek swelling or pain, use ice. If the nerve IS exposed (and this will really hurt) then it’s time to call your dentist and get some help.

4) Knocked-Out Tooth – only a problem if it’s an adult tooth. In this case, you need to see a dentist within 4 hours to save it. In the meantime, try to put the tooth back in the socket to keep it alive. If you can’t, hold it gently in the cheek or, if all else fails, a glass of milk is better than nothing.

5) Infection – always a big deal, but can need antibiotics before the offending tooth can be treated. This is because swelling can make it hard to open your mouth or for the local anesthetic to work properly. Call your dentist’s emergency line – he/she can usually prescribe an antibiotic or will arrange to take a look.

Hope you all enjoy your holiday festivities, and always know that if you really need me, I’m here for you!

And if you’re looking for a dentist in Kamloops, we are happily accepting new patients! You can contact us by clicking here!

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