Mouth guards are very inexpensive and can save teeth, and also protect the jaw. A good mouth guard covers teeth and gums and allows for normal speech and breathing. The American Dental Association estimates that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year.
Helmets, gloves, and goggles are on your winter sports checklist — but what about mouth guards? Do you or your child need to wear a mouth guard for your Arctic athletic activity? Here are all of the winter sports that need mouth guards:
Hockey has a stereotype of players missing teeth. Although the NHL does not require players to wear mouthguards, school sports and recreational hockey leagues do. Hard contact and flying pucks pose a serious threat to your pearly whites. Wearing a mouthguard protects the teeth, gums, and your tongue, too.
SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING
Flying down slopes can be fun and exciting but also has some serious risks; running into someone, hitting the hard-packed snow, or crashing into a tree are all risky for your oral and overall health. Although skiing and snowboarding are very enjoyable, it is easy lose control, catch an edge, or run into something. Usually, there’s less time to react and protect yourself. It is always important to wear a mouthguard and a helmet while you ski or snowboard because it can help prevent damage in the event that you incur facial injury.
BASKETBALL AND WRESTLING
These winter sports come with or without snow but pose all the risks for a facial injury. Close contact with opponents can result in knocking out a tooth (a flying elbow is a definite possibility). Wear a mouthguard to reduce your risk.
Winter sports that need mouthguards don’t all involve snow or ice. Whether you want to protect your child’s mouth or your own, it’s always best to wear a mouthguard for any sport (competitive or not) that poses a risk for facial injury.