It’s common knowledge that a mouthguard has become more widely accepted in football and sports than ever before. Ongoing research in regards to player safety while on the court or field is uncovering data that mouthguards reduce the risk of concussions; a frequently debated topic today. Our Polaris dentist recommends wearing a mouthguard for any sport that involves the potential of collisions or impacts, and many heed our advice. However, it’s how you care for your mouthguard when not in use that is just as important as wearing one.
How dirty is your Mouthguard?
We watch professionals on television or in stadiums and arenas remove their mouthguard in between plays or on the bench. Some tuck it into a pocket, others admit to tucking it behind an ear or in their waistbands. A person may not think much about it; the mouthguard was in your mouth and is touching your body, not other people. However, let’s think about this. You just played with 5 to 21 or more people where you may have touched them, encountered their sweat and spit, or dropped your mouthguard on the floor. Now you take those dirty hands and remove your mouthguard. That transfer introduces additional germs and bodily fluids to a piece of plastic that you put in your mouth. You might as well just lick the other players.
Keep your Head in the Game
It’s not all bad. Luckily there are a variety of options that allow you to keep your mouthguard clean. Put it in a case when not in use, or ask the team manager or your Polaris dentist for solutions. Keep your mouthguard in your mouth rather than removing it. Carry toothpaste and a toothbrush in your gym bag and clean it after ever use and before putting it in its case. Germs are a part of life, and essentially help build stronger immune systems. Yet, the cleaner you can keep your mouthguard, the healthier your gums and teeth and overall body health will be. Establish a routine to preserve your mouthguard and consider disposing of the mouthguard every 2 to 4 weeks.
Your Mouth is a Breeding Ground for Bacteria
Bacteria thrive in warm, moist places. The bacteria introduced into your oral cavity if not properly cleaned, can lead to illness as that bacteria grows and travels to your blood stream. A mouthguard protects your mouth, teeth, gums, and tongue and reduces the risk of dangerous concussions. It is a necessary item of sports equipment to ensure a player’s safety. Just take a couple extra minutes to properly clean it and talk with our Polaris dentist and staff about the best way to store and clean a mouthguard at your next dental appointment.
Sports are great at any age for team building, health, and wellness. With proper safety knowledge and the right equipment, you lessen the chances of injuries to your body as well as your mouth. Set the trend for your teammates by wearing and properly storing your mouthguard and play your best without the hassle of wondering what you just put into your mouth.
For more topics on maintaining a healthy mouth follow us on Facebook or talk with us during your next dental exam. We can suggest the right mouthguard for you or discuss our custom-fit mouthguards and their benefits.