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Protect your smile with a mouthguard

SPONSORED • Published: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 10:34 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014 2:37 p.m. CST
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Ronald Murphy has been protecting and improving smiles for 12 years. He recently chatted about the importance of wearing a mouthguard for protection during athletic activity.

Question: Why is wearing a mouthguard so important during athletic activity? In which sports should people wear mouthguards? Answer: Wearing a mouthguard is important to protect the teeth, gums and the mouth from trauma. Sports that definitely should wear a mouthguard is any sport where contact can occur, such as football, basketball, hockey, skateboarding, etc.

Question: What does a mouthguard protect from? Answer: A mouthguard helps cushion a blow to the mouth and can minimize damage to the mouth. For example, playing basketball, a player gets hit in the mouth with an elbow. Without a mouthguard, the force is placed on one to two teeth and will most likely do a good amount of damage to those teeth. With a mouthguard, the force from the elbow will be delivered to a larger area so the force is less on the teeth.

Question: I understand mouthguards can reduce the severity of a concussion, can you explain? Answer: I agree with Dr. Paul McCrory who said: “Though anecdotal, there are three possible theories on the potential benefits of properly-fitting athletic mouthguards and the reduction of the incidence or severity of concussions. It should be noted that these are theories, which in most cases are not proven in the medical/dental literature. One – direct dissipation and/or absorption of force of an upward blow to the jaw. Two – increased separation of the head of the condyle and glenoid fossa. Three – increased head stabilization by activating and strengthening neck muscles.

Question: Is a store-bought mouthguard OK or should you see your dentist to have one made? What brands/makers do you recommend? Answer: A store-bought mouthguard may be fine for young children playing sports, but teenagers on up should have a properly-fitted mouthguard. In my office, I can make them or go through Under Armour.

Murphy Dentistry1605 W. Wilson St. #114 Batavia, IL  | 630.879.7642

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