Proper Mouth Guard Usage in Football Season

Football players are generally well outfitted in protective gear as football is one of the roughest contact sports a person can play. Players get helmets, pads and guards to protect every part of their body and the mouth should not be forgotten. Football mouth guards are essential to protect the teeth and gums of the player. It is essential for these mouth guards to be properly fitted and worn correctly for them to work as they are supposed to.   There are three types of football mouth guards that are available for players to use. These are generic, stock mouth protectors; boil and bite mouth protectors and custom fitted mouth guards. Stock mouth guards can be bought at most sporting goods stores or a store with a sporting department. They can be ill-fitting and can cause breathing or talking difficulties. They are usually bulky and offer little or no protection that they should provide. “Boil and Bite” mouth protectors can also be found in sporting goods stores. They offer more protection that the stock mouth guards because their shape can be changed to better fit the wearer’s mouth. The protectors is heated in hot water to soften and then placed in the mouth to mold to the teeth. Custom fitted mouth guards are made by a dentist and offer the highest level of protection because of their custom fit.   These mouth guards are made of moldable plastic that covers the teeth and gums to protect them from damage during the game. The idea behind football mouth guards is that it will protect the teeth and bones in the mouth from the force of an impact and that the mouth guard would also protect the lips and gums from the teeth in the same instance. These mouth guards work better when they are molded specifically to fit the individual shape of the wearer’s mouth.   Mouth guards are important in any sport where contact could be a possibility. Since football is known for its tackling and hard hits, a football mouth guard would be a good safety precaution for any player of that sport to make. Mouth guards protect a player from tooth damage or less, nerve damage in the mouth and also prevent an accidental biting of the tongue, cheek or lip. Some studies have shown that wearing a mouth guard also lowers the risk of concussion in the event of a hard hit to the head.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

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