Spring sports weather is here and your athlete patients will need their smile protected. According to the ADA, over 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year simply by wearing a sports mouth guard. Yet, the yearly costs of all injuries, including oro-facial injuries, sustained by young athletes have been estimated to be as high as 1.8 billion dollars. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) reports that more than 67% of parents stated their children do not wear a mouthguard during organized sports because they are not required. If players’ perception of mouthguard use and comfort was more of a common standard, it may increase compliance and enthusiasm.
Not all sports mouthguard are created equal! It is important to inform patients of all of their options to avoid a toothless smile. There are three choices of mouth guards:
- Stock: They are usually pre-formed, inexpensive and ready to wear. They are often bulky and do not fit well.
- Boil and Bite: They are softened in warm water and then inserted to adapt to the shape of your mouth but slowly lose their shape over time
- Custom Fit: Made personally for your mouth, offering the best fit and protection. Can be designed to fit over braces and be designed to a team’s style.
Keystone offers a one-of-a-kind Pro-Form Mouthguard Laminate that can be utilized to make custom mouth guards in a variety of designs. It is uniquely designed to contain two layers of soft EVA (4 mm) to provide the upmost tensile strength and protection.
While hockey players are the poster athletes for losing teeth, the ADA recommends wearing a mouth guard for over twenty sports including lacrosse, football, boxing, soccer, racquetball, and wrestling.
The total rehabilitation costs for a single knock-out tooth are more than 20 times the preventative cost for a custom Pro-Form laminated, professionally designed mouthguard. While a custom sports mouthguard may range from $150 to $700, the Academy for Sports Dentistry estimates the lifetime dental restorative costs can approach several thousand dollars per tooth, for an athlete who sustains tooth avulsion or fracture in a sporting injury. This does not include the association costs of hours in the dental office and loss of time at work and school. Mouthguard use also helps avoid crown fractures, jaw fracture/dislocation and soft tissue injuries by acting as a shock absorber.
Most teens who are hesitant of wearing a mouthguard may feel enthused by the variety of styles of Pro-Form designs. These laminates are available in traditional sports team colors or can be made fun using glitter, tie dye and even a fang and blood line design. For anyone interested in a tricolor combo, they are offered in packs of 12 to match team colors or themes.
If your office is concerned with increased laboratory costs, Keystone offers a line of vacuum forming machines and thermoplastics that are simple to use and can be utilized to make any type of custom fit laminate for bruxism guards, temporary splints, or custom trays.
This season is the perfect time to educate our patients on mouthguard safety and help prevent any unnecessary dental injuries. Taking advantage of Keystone’s Pro-Form Laminates, you can make custom mouth guards a top priority and keep your patient’s smiling through the summer!
Dr. Erica Anand, a native Long Islander, received her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry with Cum Laude from Stony Brook University. She attended Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine where she earned her Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree. While in dental school, Dr. Erica received the Delta Dental award and was involved in the outreach mission to Chile where she treated underserved children and families. She went on to complete a two-year specialty-training program in pediatric dentistry at Stony Brook University. Her extensive education includes treating children with special needs, dental phobias, and oral rehabilitation under general anesthesia. She maintains memberships of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and New York State Dental Association, and is an American Board of Pediatric Dentistry Candidate.