We all know that mouth guards play a big role in protecting our children. But there are two additional factors to keep in mind. First, if its not comfortable or if they can not breath correctly, they DON'T keep it in place (come-on admit it, you've seen pictures of your kids with it hanging out the side of their mouth). If its not in - it cant work.
Second, an article from "General Dentistry" shows that athletes using mouth guards and sustaining an impact were 50% less likely to have a brain injury when using a professionally made custom fit mouth guard.
Its the cheapest piece of equipment you'll buy your child, but it can prove to be the most cost effective.
We are fortunate to have a partner, Dr Karayiannis of My Smile Orthodontics, her practices is less than a 1/2 a mile from our home rink at 865 River Rd, Shelton and to help kick off our season in a safe way, she is fitting custom mouth guards for Riverhawk families us for only $40.
Call her to set up an appointment.
She can be reached at (203) 538-5014 or at mysmilect.com
Read the full article here
Custom-Made Mouthguards May Help Prevent Sports-Related Brain Injuries
Mouthguards play several important roles for athletes, especially in aggressive contact sports. The most obvious benefit is protecting your teeth and preventing serious mouth injuries. They can also reduce the risk of jaw injuries. However, it may come as a surprise to learn that mouthguards can also reduce the risk of brain injuries for athletes, especially if they are wearing a custom-made mouthguard.
Many have speculated that mouthguards can prevent some sports-related concussions, by helping to absorb shock, stabilize the head and neck, and limit movement caused by a direct hit to the jaw. But, there has been little evidence until a recent study published in the May/June 2014 issue of General Dentistry, the peer reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry.
The study found that high school football players wearing store-bought mouthguards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injuries than those wearing properly fitted, custom mouthguards.
“Researchers and, most importantly, parents, are looking for ways to better protect children against concussions,” said lead author Jackson Winters, DDS, a pediatric dentist who also served as a high school and collegiate football official for 28 years. “Consumers may believe that today’s advanced helmet design provides sufficient protection, but our research indicates that, when compared to over-the-counter versions, a custom-made, properly fitted mouthguard also is essential to player safety.”
The study followed 412 players across six high school football teams. Three teams (220 players) were randomly assigned to wear custom-made mouthguards, while the remaining three teams (192 athletes) wore standard store-bought mouthguards of their own choice. All players used the same style of helmet during the study.
The findings showed that 8.3 percent of the athletes wearing using over-the-counter standard mouthguards suffered brain injuries. However, only 3.6 percent of the players wearing custom mouthguards suffered concussions.
The study also indicated that mouthguard thickness is a factor in the level of protection from mouthguards. The average thickness of custom-made mouthguards worn in the study was 3.5 millimeters, while the average thickness of the over-the-counter mouthguards was only 1.65 millimeters.
“Although more research on this topic is needed, our study shows the value of a custom-made mouthguard,” Dr. Winters said. “The benefits of protecting your child far outweigh the costs associated with a dental or medical injury, which is likelier to occur with a store-bought model.”
Check out this article from from the "Hockey Doctor" at "Lets Play Hockey .com"
The Hockey Doctor
Dr. Rob LaPrade
Question: I just received a penalty for not having a mouth guard. Why do I need to wear one?
Answer: I think you know part of the answer to this one already. While the obvious answer to using a mouth guard is that it protects your teeth from being chipped or knocked out, a mouth guard is also a very important safety device to prevent injuries.
The main purpose of a mouth guard is clear. It is there to protect your teeth from possible direct blows where they can either be chipped, significantly fractured, or knocked out. While serving a purpose in this regard, they also help to prevent some of the bad lip and cheek lacerations which can happen when a tooth is broken.
The other purpose of a mouth guard is to act as a shock absorber in your mouth. It serves as a spacer between the top and bottom row of your teeth and absorbs shock should you receive a blow to your head or jaw. You can imagine that if you have a significant blow to your chin that this force is going to go from your chin up through your jaw bone, into your teeth, into your facial bones, etc. In this regard, a mouth guard helps to decrease jaw bone (mandible) fractures. In addition, it is also believed that the use of a good fitted mouth guard helps to decrease the chance of concussions. It does this by helping to absorb the force that your jaw may pick up when there is a significant blow delivered to it. Since a concussion is basically a big bruise to your brain, which if it occurs on multiple occasions could result in permanent brain damage, it is important to try to minimize your exposure to concussions. In this regard, it is highly recommended that you wear a well fitted mouth guard when you play contact ice hockey. It is also important to not trim down the mouth guard too much or it will be ineffective in acting as a shock absorber.
I hope this answers your question and that you choose to wear a mouth guard in all ice hockey related activities in the future. Wearing a mouth guard, and the rules which enforce it, are sort of like the rules for having seatbelts in cars. The mouth guard serves as a seatbelt to protect your teeth, jaw bone, and brain.
Robert F. LaPrade, M.D., Ph.D. is a complex knee surgeon at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. He is very active in research for the prevention and treatment of ice hockey injuries. Dr. LaPrade is also the Chief Medical Research Officer at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute. Formerly, he was the team physician for the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team and a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the U of M. If you have a question for the Hockey Doc, e-mail it to