Reaching Super Bowl 49 with Teeth Intact

January 22, 2015

As we sit around our television sets on February 1, 2015 watching Super Bowl 49, we’ll see many hits and slams as the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots vie for the Super Bowl 2015 title. Both teams have come a long way, and what’s happened behind the scenes during their practices and training has everything to do with the final game of the year in Phoenix, AZ.

One of the items that has helped many professional sports teams protect their bodies includes sports mouth guards. Those are the plastic trays you sometimes see the players flipping into their mouths when they don’t realize the camera is on them. From a dentist’s perspective, these types of custom sports mouth guards are as important as knee pads, shoulder pads and helmets.Superbowl 49

How Can Protective Mouth Guards Help Athletes Stay Orally Fit?

No one wants to lose teeth if it can be avoided. Yet football players, as well as other athletes, place their mouths in harm’s way on a regular basis. One hit to the head or jaw can knock a tooth lose. It can also crack a tooth, break the jawbone, force the teeth to bite into the tongue or cheek, or create an intense bite-down force that injures the brain. When a custom sports mouth guard is inserted onto the top and bottom rows of teeth, potential mouth injuries can be minimized.

Essentially, the mouth guard forces the teeth and jawbone into a rigid, but comfortable, position. When the player takes a hit, the teeth don’t “rattle” within the mouth. Instead, they stay in place and the material of the mouth guard absorbs much of the impact. By the time the force gets to the teeth and the jawbone, it has dissipated significantly. Properly fitted mouth guards created by trained dental professionals have even been shown to reduce the risk of concussions when used with other protective gear.

Mouth guards can help reduce many of the frequent injuries in the NFL and other leagues. These injuries include:

  • Chipped or broken teeth – There’s no such thing as “only” a chipped tooth. Teeth that have been damaged are at risk for further problems, including increased likelihood of cavities and advanced decay.
  • Fractured dental crowns – If a tooth already has a dental crown, the crown could be jolted loose by a hit during contact sports play. This would require immediate dental care to replace the crown and ensure that there was not additional damage to the tooth, the tooth pulp or the tooth root.
  • Fractured jawbones – No athlete wants to experience a fractured jawbone, as the treatment can keep him or her off the field, gridiron or ice for months.
  • Tooth or root damage – When the root of the tooth is damaged, a root canal is typically necessary. This involves surgery to the tooth.
  • Concussions – Kid and adult athletes who do not wear custom mouth guards are at a greater risk of concussions than their counterparts who use mouth guards regularly. One study showed that more than half of all concussions reported by high school athletes participating in the research were suffered by athletes who were NOT wearing mouth guards. This shows that mouth guards can offer the ultimate protection against damage to the brain.

Custom Mouth Guards Aren’t Just for Super Bowl Players – They’re For All Athletes

You don’t have to be a professional athlete on one of the many Phoenix sports teams to benefit from a sports mouth guard. In fact, plenty of kids, teens and adults in the Glendale, AZ, region who play for fun come to AZ Family Dental to get fitted for protective mouth guards. In some cases, it’s mandatory. Regardless of if you have to abide by a rule or your league merely suggests it, mouth guards enable all athletes to safely enjoy the sport they love without worrying about their teeth. Contact AZ Family Dental to schedule an appointment.

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