For many professional athletes, losing a tooth seems to be unavoidable, or even considered a rite of passage. As the official dentist for the Kelowna Rockets, we see our fair share of accidents resulting in a lost tooth or two. However, doing everything you can to protect your teeth is important in every sport, and can protect more than just your smile.

As tempting as it may be to just purchase a mouthguard off the shelf of a sports store, a 2014 study by the Academy of General Dentistry revealed that custom fit mouthguards also work to reduce the risk of a concussion. By absorbing the shock of an impact, it can help stabilize the head and neck, making injury less likely. We’ve come a long way since the helmet-free hockey of the 60s, but there are steps that need to be taken to ensure you are doing everything you can to protect your teeth.

Mouthguards aren’t just for hockey players. You should be wearing one if you play any physical sport like football, soccer, rugby, boxing, lacrosse, or even mountain biking. Not only do they protect your teeth from the puck, ball, or glove, but as mentioned before they absorb impact to prevent jaw joint, soft tissue, and neck injuries.

The one-size-fits-all or “boil and bite” mouthguards may be more convenient, but they are simply not as effective as a custom fit mouthguard. In most cases they do not offer the best fit and are uncomfortable, causing the athlete to pop it in and out of their mouth and, in many cases, chew on it (which can cause rips or tears).

Today, custom-made mouthguards are produced with more state of the art materials than a hunk of rubber. They are more durable, and although they may not be any thicker, they are much denser. When they are custom fit to your bite, they can also help to reposition your jaw and maximize air intake.

A custom sports mouthguard made by Kelowna’s Dr. Provancher will provide you with the best fit and protection. He has the training and experience needed to mold well-fitting mouthguards, and as a dentist he has  the expertise to evaluate your fillings and the strength of your teeth to ensure you have the most effective mouthguard possible.

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