Yet, scientists believe they should. However, how many of us who play sport actually think we should?
With an estimated 5 million teeth lost in the US each year through sports injuries, Dr. Jerry Burgess, a cosmetic dentist said: “A properly-fitted sports guard can prevent damage to your tongue, cheeks, lips, and gums and more importantly prevent broken teeth, nerve damage or the loss of a tooth.”
Millions of people throughout the world participate in many different types of sporting activities and while most could not be described as violent, nevertheless there are many injuries – over 200,000 oral injuries in America alone, according to the American Dental Association.
A colleague of Dr. Burgess, Scott Mason added: “It is easy to protect your smile by simply wearing a well-fitted, protective guard. As a father of a young athlete, I want to do what’s best for my child’s dental and overall health, and one way I can do that is to arm him with a guard to wear while he’s playing sports. I hope that other parents will see the importance of having their child wear a sport guards and do the same.”
Offering a sports guard service is not something most dentists would normally consider doing. However, doctors Burgess and Mason clearly feel it is something that should be offered. One of the devices they sell to their patients is called Under Armour Performance Mouthwear. The aim of the item is to protect the teeth and jaw while enabling the airway to be enlarged, thus increasing oxygen flow. It also reduces lactic acid build up.