With the spring sports season just around the corner, parents and players are starting to think about equipment, practices, games and some good, healthy competition. However, with the recent spotlight on concussions due to sports related injuries, parents around the nation are understandably worried.
Researchers are busy looking for solutions to minimize the risks while allowing kids to continue to play the sports they love. But, what if something that is already required for many sports could be used to help protect them from concussions?
In the past, mouthguards were optional, and many competitors went without because of the bulkiness and discomfort associated with the over-the-counter options. Many of these products claim to fit everyone or just require a quick boil and bite to size. Many athletes find them uncomfortable and a barrier to speaking and breathing easily. They choose to either not wear them at all, or chew on them which quickly voids any protection they may have offered.
A study published in the Journal of General Dentistry found that high school football players that wore over-the-counter mouthguards were over twice as likely to experience concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries than those who wore custom-made mouthguards. Mouthguards can’t prevent all risk of injury, however, with a proper fit and protection, the shock absorption and stabilization they offer helps limit the movement associated with a direct hit which in turn helps reduce the likelihood of a concussion or head injury.
One of the factors the study found that contribute to maximum protection is thickness. Over-the-counter options average a thickness of only 1.65 millimeters, while the custom-made mouthguards in the study were closer to 3.5 millimeters. It’s not just about picking the thickest and bulkiest mouthguards, though. Custom-made mouthguards place the thickness where it matters most while still allowing for comfortable breathing and speaking.
For more information on how custom-made mouthguards can help protect your athlete, call out office at 509-368-7788 or visit us online to schedule and appointment.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788