Mouthguards protect teeth

Capt. Sarah Eager and Capt. S.Thikkurissy
435th Dental Squadron

It’s as if Murphy’s Law has a second part “in the fine print” where it states that children will fall down, and inevitably will chip or fracture their teeth. However, dental injuries are largely preventable, with the judicious use of mouthguards.
Every one out of two children ages 8 to 12 sustains some type of a dental injury. This could be on the playing field, the basketball court, or while skateboarding, biking or during other activities
A properly fitted mouthguard is as important a piece of athletic gear as a helmet. Generally a mouthguard covers only the upper teeth. The most effective mouthguard should be resilient, tear-resistant and comfortable. It should fit properly, be durable and easy to clean, and not restrict your speech or breathing.
If you have a mouthguard, take good care of it.
Before and after each use, rinse it with cold water or with an antiseptic mouth rinse. You can clean it with toothpaste and a toothbrush, too.
When it’s not being used, place your mouthguard in a firm, perforated container. This permits air circulation and helps prevent damage.
Avoid high temperatures, such as hot water, hot surfaces or direct sunlight, which can distort the mouthguard.
Check it for tears, holes and to see whether it has become loose in the mouth. A mouthguard that’s torn or in bad shape can irritate your mouth and lessen the amount of protection it provides.
Have regular dental checkups and bring your mouthguard along so the dentist can make sure it’s still in good condition.
You can get your own mouth-formed “boil and bite” mouthguard from the Ramstein Fitness Centers, Youth Centers and the Ramstein Dental Clinic. Don’t take your teeth for granted.