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MOUTHGUARDS SAVE TEETH!!! .and Much Expense

Over 5 million teeth will be lost this year. It is estimated that if  properly cared for and restored, it will cost $2,000 and more for each  incident. Many more teeth will be fractured requiring treatment costing  from one hundred to one thousand dollars. The best care never replaces  the original tooth or teeth, resulting in a functional or esthetic  handicap for life.

Mouthguards, if worn, will provide various degrees of protection  depending upon the type of guard and the activity-ca using accident.  The various types include:

Stock: this is a horseshoe-shaped device which has no retention  or ability to stay in place without effort on behalf of the wearer.  This device is inconvenient at best and often is not worn because of  difficulty of use. The protection provided is better than not wearing a  mouth guard but provides the least amount of protection. Breathing  through the mouth is difficult, as the teeth must be held together in  order to keep it in place.

Mouth-formed: commonly called “boil and bite.” This is purchased  at drug stores. The form is boiled in water and the user is instructed  to form the guard by biting into the softened material. This is  inherently poor fitting, thin and easily distorts with use. It is  better than stock and it fits better but does not stay in place without some conscious effort.

Custom-made: these are made from models of impressions of the  teeth. The mouthguard material is vacuum-fitted to the model, trimmed  and polished. Custom-made mouthguards provide excellent fit and stay in  place without effort resulting in greater use. These allow free  breathing as retention is not dependent upon a closed mouth to hold the  guard in place and therefore improves performance. Custom-made   mouthguards are designed for three levels of protection. Thickness and   laminations provide for the differences. Single lamination of 3mm to  5mm thickness, double lamination of 5mm thickness and triple lamination with one lamination of thin, hard polycarbonate sandwiched between two soft laminations. The later is used for severe contact sports such as  professional football. A custom-made mouthguard is strongly  recommended, and costs less than one-fourth the cost of a crown.

Mouthguards protect teeth from being broken or knocked out, broken  upper and/or lower jaws, dislocated jaws and concussions. Mouthguards  are protective devices in the same arena as seatbelts, airbags,  helmets, pads, shin guards, gloves and many other devices designed to  protect heads, limbs, body and life. Since it is projected that 5  million teeth will be knocked out this year and countless other  injuries will occur, it is strongly advised to make mouthguards a  necessary part of the equipment used to protect sports participants  from harm.

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Wayne C. Harper, DDS
Phone: (352) 390-2551
Fax: (352) 867-0439
1800 SE 17th St #602
Ocala, FL 34471
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