Dr. Thompson was “Team Dentist” for the Phoenix Roadrunners in the International Hockey League from 1996 to 1999. He is well aware of the many injuries that can occur to the mouth, jaw and different parts of the facial area.
The key role in sports dentistry is making sure athletes, no matter what sport or level of participation have adequate protection from the many injuries that can occur.
Sports dentistry has grown tremendously over the years. Athletic teams realize the importance of preventing oral and facial trauma that can result in severe injury. They are making sure athletes are limited in their approach in contact sports; like in football the practice of going after the head is now forbidden, to state of the art equipment to make playing safer.
In order to prevent broken teeth, fractured jaws and concussions, it is imperative that athletes wear proper mouth guards. A mouth guard is adequate only if it covers all the teeth. They must cover the upper front teeth up under the lip and most importantly, they must stay in place when you open your mouth and speak. If it slips out of place in normal speaking it will not be in position to protect a sporting collision. If it needs a strap it is probably inadequate.
Sports that have a lot of contact consider mouth guards that fit correctly an essential part of equipment. Contact sports like boxing, hockey, football and martial arts all realize the importance of mouth guards. Many sports considered non-contact sports can still have oral and facial injuries; basketball, baseball, roller blading, soccer, wrestling, racquetball, bicycling, and skateboarding to name a few. Getting hit in the mouth with a ball, falling off a bike, or getting smacked in the mouth with leg are only some of the ways facial injuries occur. Mouth guards should be considered for these sports as well.
An interesting fact, in youth sports, “The National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries” rates dental injuries as the most common facial trauma. With so much interest in contact sports, and kids starting younger and younger, dental professions have become an important part in what is fast becoming leading field in sports, “Sports dentistry”.
Make sure whatever sport your child participates in that equipment is the best available from face masks, to properly fitting helmets and of course mouth guards.
Dr. Thompson and Kierland Dental Center have always been on the cutting edge of custom made mouth guards. They carry only the finest material used and the custom fitting shows the years of experience in the field.
With the face being the most vulnerable part of the body and in most cases the least protected. Statistics show that approximately 11-40 percent of the injuries that occur in all sports involves the face.
Don’t hesitate to get yourself, and or your child a custom fitted mouth guard for the best protection on the market. Just remember an “ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure”.