Athletic related dental injuries such as cracked/fractured teeth, knocked out teeth, jawbone breaks, and oral tissue abrasions lead to over 600,000 emergency room visits each year. This is according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If you play a sport competitively or recreationally, the Moreno Valley dentists at Moreno Valley Dentistry highly recommend that you use an athletic mouthguard to prevent such injuries. However, that’s just one part of the story. Just like your teeth, you need to take proper care of your mouthguard so it doesn’t cause other dental issues on its own.
According to a study published in General Dentistry (the Academy of General Dentistry’s clinical, peer-reviewed journal) athletic mouthguards are made from porous material. The pores are similar to those in a sponge. This gives bacteria and other microorganisms lots of terrific places to play hide-and-seek. Thus, athletic mouthguards can end up breeding grounds for large amounts of mold, bacteria, and yeasts which all promote infections, inflammatory diseases, and other serious health issues. Mouthguards can even harbor the specific bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Putting an unclean mouthguard into your mouth over and over raises your chances of developing cavities and periodontal disease.
Keeping Your Mouthguard Clean
Many athletes develop the unfortunate habit of wearing dirty mouthguards. Whether this is out of laziness, time constraints, or simple ignorance, there’s no time like the present to change it. Infested mouth protection may shield your mouth from sports-related dental injury, but they also increase the risk for oral infections. Here are some basic tips to keeping your mouthguard ready for each and every game:
- Before you use your mouthguard for a sporting event, first brush your teeth.
- Never share mouthguards with a teammate.
- Thoroughly clean, rinse, and dry your mouthguard after each use according to your dentist’s instructions.
- Store your mouthguard in a clean, dry place.
- Carry around a clean backup mouthguard in case your have forgotten to clean yours in between games.
Visit your Moreno Valley Dentists
Don’t forget to brush twice daily, floss daily, and attend regular six-month checkups to avoid oral infections. Whether you are a new patient seeking a dentist in the Moreno Valley area, or you need to schedule your next checkup, contact Dental Associates of Moreno Valley at (951)697-6800 today to schedule your appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.