Hamilton Mountain Dental Group

Providing people with a positive experience centred around, but not limited to dental care. The product for both, our team and the people who trust us with their care will be a better quality of life.


sweaty young boxer wearing mouthguard during

Protecting Your Teeth In Sports

posted October 27, 2023

Participating in sports and physical activities is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and have fun. However, it’s crucial to remember that accidents can happen, and protecting your teeth during sports is essential.

It’s important to take all possible precautions to protect your teeth and mouth, such as utilizing a mouth guard.

young male putting-mouthguard before boxing


Helmets are crucial protective gear in many sports, offering primary protection for your head against potential head and brain injuries. They are particularly important for activities such as cycling, skateboarding, and skiing. However, they don’t provide the specialized dental protection that a mouth guard does, and don’t eliminate the need to wear a mouth guard.

Following Rules and Playing Safe

Observing and adhering to the rules of your chosen sport is a fundamental aspect of injury prevention. Playing safe reduces the likelihood of accidents during gameplay. However, even in sports where rules are strictly followed, unforeseen circumstances or accidents can still occur.

Mouth Guard

While wearing helmets and following rules are critical for safety, mouth guards play a significant role in safeguarding your teeth during sports.

Mouth guards are specialized dental appliances designed to protect your teeth, lips, and tongue during sports activities. They act as a cushion, absorbing and dispersing the force of impacts that could otherwise lead to severe dental injuries.

Preventing Dental Injuries

Mouth guards help prevent a wide range of dental injuries, including broken teeth, knocked-out teeth, and cheek or lip lacerations. This includes injuries to gums, too. They are particularly effective in contact sports like hockey, rugby, and football, where impacts are common, as well as in sports where there are risks of falls, such as skiing, snowboarding, and skateboarding.

Reducing the Risk of Concussions

Although mouth guards are primarily designed to protect your teeth, they can also help reduce the risk of concussions. A properly fitted mouth guard can act as a shock absorber, reducing the force of impact on your head.

Jaw Injuries

Sports guards also help avoid jaw dislocation or fracture, as they absorb shock and stabilize the jaw during an impact.
smiling sportswoman poses-dark background bandages

Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards for Better Protection

While over-the-counter mouth guards are readily available, they don’t fit as well or securely, and aren’t as effective as a custom mouth guard from a dentist.

Dentists custom fit mouth guards so they are secure and comfortable. This ensures your mouth guard stays in place during intense physical activities. Custom-fitted mouth guards provide superior protection by dispersing impact forces more evenly, because of superior materials and a better fit, reducing the risk of dental injuries. In addition, you have the benefit of a dentist to guide you on what level of protection you need.

Custom mouth guards are designed for easy breathing and speaking, making it easy to play your sport while being protected.

The high-quality materials are built to last, making mouth guards a long-term investment in dental safety, and are cost-effective in the long run. Plus, they are significantly cheaper than having to undergo costly dental work if a dental injury occurs.

Why Night Guards Aren't a Substitute for Mouth Guards

Some people ask if they can use their night guard when playing sports. The answer is no; Night guards and mouth guards serve entirely different purposes.

Night guards are dental appliances designed to prevent teeth grinding or clenching during sleep. They are not meant for impact protection and lack the shock-absorbing capabilities of mouth guards. Mouth guards, on the other hand, are specifically engineered to absorb and disperse the force of impacts during physical activities.

Using a night guard won’t protect your teeth from the shocks and impacts that can occur during a game, and will only create a false sense of security.

If a Tooth Does Get Broken or Knocked Out

For dental emergencies like a tooth getting broken or knocked out, whether or not it’s during a sports activity, it’s essential to act quickly and follow these immediate steps for the best chance of saving the tooth. First, gently pick up the tooth by the crown and avoid touching the root. Rinse it briefly but do not scrub or use soap. If possible, reposition the tooth in its socket. Get to an emergency dentist as soon as possible, as the tooth may survive if treated in time, and could be saved.

When Are Mouth Guards Needed?

Playing contact sports carry a higher risk of dental injuries, making mouth guards essential, whether you play competitively or recreationally.
ice hockey sport young kids players

Hockey is a high-contact sport with a high risk of dental injuries due to the fast-paced, physical nature of the game. According to a study by the Canadian Dental Association, hockey is the leading cause of dental injuries among children and youth in Canada. It was found that nearly 37% of all dental injuries among Canadian children were related to hockey. While helmets are mandatory in many regions, mouth guards are not, leading to a gap in protection.

On the other hand, rugby, which involves intense physical contact and tackles that can lead to serious dental injuries, have made mouth guards compulsory, which has significantly reduced dental trauma.

Lacrosse has a high incidence of dental injuries; properly fitted mouth guards have been proven to reduce the risk of dental trauma in lacrosse players.
Football players, especially in certain positions, can benefit from mouth guards.

Soccer and basketball are often overlooked as they are usually not as intense as the other sports mentioned, but collisions and falls do happen and cause dental injuries.

Protect Your Teeth During Sports and Other Activities

Don’t limit your oral protection to organized sports alone; protect your smile in all situations where accidents could occur.

Mouth guards should be considered for any activity or sport that carries a risk of dental injuries. Activities such as skateboarding, martial arts, snow sports, gymnastics, and even recreational activities like rollerblading can lead to accidental impacts or falls. Adults, teens, and children who are engaging in these activities – at whatever level – should use a mouth guard to prevent painful and costly dental injuries.

Hamilton Mountain Dental offers custom mouth guards to protect your teeth, whether you play contact sports, participate in higher-risk recreational activities, or are otherwise at risk of impacts and falls. We help both adults and young athletes in protecting teeth during their activities to avoid potential injuries. Don’t delay in booking your dentist appointment today.

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