Football season has started, so it is important to uncover tips that keep your young athlete’s teeth safe. Football is a contact sport that requires plenty of body padding. It is also vital to use equipment that protects the mouth.
Oral Care on the Field. During a football game, tackles and other physical confrontations may cause jaw fractures, dislocations, or tooth damage. A mouthguard is extremely effective at protecting teeth, the tongue, and the jaw. This device should be resilient, feel comfortable in the mouth, and be easy to clean. A custom-fit device provides the best protection and can be molded by your dentist.
Mouthguards and Braces. Many teens who play football wear braces. Upon getting hit, the sharp metal can cause permanent dental injuries and harm to the lips and tongue. Besides avoiding cuts in the mouth, wearing a mouthguard protects the braces from damage. This saves expensive orthodontic repair bills. There are certain models designed especially to accommodate braces. They are made of flexible materials that allow the device to move and not become stuck in the metal.
Other Dental Care Advice. Since a mouthguard becomes filled with saliva, which contains high levels of bacteria, it is essential to keep the device clean. A dirty device can expose an athlete to infections and other oral issues. To receive maximum protection and to avoid unsanitary conditions, it is vital to understand how often a mouthguard should be cleaned and replaced. A mouthguard can only take care of the mouth if it is in good condition.
A mouthguard should be sanitized daily. Commercial soaking solutions line store shelves and simplify the cleaning process. If a mouthguard becomes sharp or distorted in shape, it should be replaced. It is wise to keep the item away from heat as well. If it is made of plastic, warm temperatures may melt the material.
According to the American Dental Association, mouthguards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries to football players. Being professionally fit for this type of device is a smart idea. The experts at Stoner Periodontic Specialists will be happy to discuss all options and other useful oral care tips to keep your teen athlete’s smile safe and looking great.