Are mouthguards only for contact sports?

You don?t have to surf the internet for very long before you find that many of Canada?s top Olympians wear custom fit mouth guards to protect themselves from facial injuries and the potential damaging long term effects of concussions. From Alex Bilodeau and his Alpine Canada teammates to the gold medal winning men?s and women?s hockey teams and all our internationally recognized men and women in bobsled, luge and skeleton, custom made and customized mouthguards were critical pieces of personal protective equipment that helped our athletes own the podium.? It?s not unusual to have children emulate their sports idols, and having elite athletes wear custom mouth guards (like the kind that Victory Mouthguards manufactures), enhances the message that dentists have been sending out for some time now.? That message of maximum protection without compromising performance is one that the Canadian Dental Association also aggressively proclaims.? “I think it’s aimed at everybody that’s involved in a sport that can cause facial injury,” says CDA president Dr. Don Friedlander, “but most importantly with the young people [is] to get them used to wearing mouth guards and understanding that, you know what, their heroes wear them, it’s cool to wear one, it’s smart to wear one.

Any sport that involves high speed and the potential for collisions (like skiing, speed skating, bobsled, luge, and skeleton) can result in serious injury to the teeth/face.? Peter Judge, CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, says the organization started requiring its elite athletes to wear mouth guards while training and competing about a decade ago.? “First and foremost, we strongly recommend that mouth guards are used at any level, particularly at those younger levels, because being less-skilled athletes, the propensity or the probability that something can happen is higher.”

The number of sports-related concussion sustained every year is distressing. The University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery states that in the United States alone 300,000 sports-related concussions occur annually.? Although there isn?t direct evidence that custom fit mouth guards reduce concussion injuries from blows sustained to the sides of the head, there is certainly mounting evidence to suggest that custom fit guards help absorb a lot of the impact that can result in concussions when a blow to the front of the head (face) occurs.

Custom fit mouthguards aren?t bulky or difficult to get used to.? In fact, many athletes customize these to make them part of their signature gear.? Check out Victory Mouthguards photo gallery of custom ?guards on our website and Facebook to get an idea of what?s possible!

Maximize your training by maximizing your oral health

Sports dentistry is not just about protecting your teeth from trauma with a stylish and well designed mouth guard. ?It’s also about maximizing your training by maximizing your oral health.

Your central nervous system (the body?s electrical network and CPU) consumes the most amount of energy produced by our body of any major system in function.? Our immune system follows as a close second.? It also takes loads of energy to grow and strengthen muscles. If we are fighting off an infection, not only are we redirecting valuable energy away from our brain, spinal cord and nerves, but we’re also cheating ourselves because the energy needed to grow and strengthen muscles is diverted towards fighting off infection. ?Our reaction time and quality of training sessions will also suffer – often significantly!

Dental problems rarely hurt until they’ve progressed to the point of being significant and expensive. ?Signs of a dental problem include the hallmark signs of inflammation: redness, swelling, bleeding, and pain.? Inflammation in the gums and teeth isn?t simply confined to the mouth.? The inflammatory by-products of infection and oral disease get picked up by our blood stream and circulate through the entire body putting people with dental problems at increased risk later in life for heart disease, stroke, adult onset diabetes, rheumatoid changes, and bone density issues.

The key to health is early detection and treatment of disease. If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while and aren’t getting the results you expect in your training, maybe something is going on in your mouth that needs to be addressed. ?Athletes spend the vast majority of their time getting healthy, living healthy and staying healthy.? Are you a serious athlete? ? ?Are you doing everything you can to maximize your training, maximize your potential and optimize your health? ?If not, maybe it?s past time for your 6 month(?) check-up!

Dr. Cichon, founder of Victory Mouthguard and sports enthusiast, maintains a private general dental practice in south Calgary with a strong emphasis on preventive dental medicine and sports dentistry.