Sports guards are protective devices which are recommended by oral health care professionals because they protect the teeth, gums, lips and the arches from injuries during sport games. These devices effectively cover the teeth and gums. Thus, act as a shield that protects from accidental blows, trauma and injuries. They are often used in contact sports.
What is it used for?Initially, sports guards were used to protecting the teeth and gums of boxers. As they often experienced lip cuts and lacerations during a match. Hockey players began using them as well. Today, most of the contact sports that involve danger to the players’ teeth, lips and gums, use sports guards. These sports include mixed martial arts, rugby, Australian football, wrestling, American football, baseball, boxing, snowboarding, field hockey water polo, underwater hockey, basketball and figure skating.
The impact to the face during sports can be damaging to the jaw, teeth, gum and lips. Moreover, the use of sports guards can diminish the chances and severity of concussions (specific types of traumatic brain injury).
In the recent years, the incidence of dental injuries during sports have significantly decreased due to the use of sports guards. However, injuries have not been completely eliminated. Dental injuries can still occur when the sports guard is fitted poorly or is made of low-quality material.