Health & Safety

July 13, 2012

Protect your smile with athletic mouthguards during play

by Col. Jeff Chaffin, D.D.S.
TRICARE Dental Care Branch, chief

If you or your child participates in sports or other recreational activities, you know the importance of protective gear. Wearing protective gear is essential for safe play and shielding fragile body parts from severe damage and injuries.

One good way to protect your teeth is by wearing an athletic mouthguard during any activity that could cause harm or injury to your mouth. The TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) covers enrollees for one custom fitted athletic mouthguard at a 50 percent cost-share, per consecutive 12-month period.

Athletic mouthguards help to prevent broken and chipped teeth, cuts inside the mouth and tongue, even nerve damage and tooth loss possible during some activities. Using an athletic mouthguard may also reduce the rate and severity of concussions, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Athletic mouthguards absorb some of the shock experienced from a blow to the head and help to distribute it evenly.

According to the ADA an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer injury to their teeth or mouth when not wearing an athletic mouthguard. Even in non-contact sports like gymnastics and biking, athletic mouthguards are shown to help prevent injuries.

There are several types of athletic mouthguards available. Many stores sell pre-formed and “boil and bite” mouthguards that are not covered by the TDP. These are generally less expensive options than having your dentist custom-fit a piece for you, however they will most likely not fit as well and may be uncomfortable to wear.

Your athletic mouthguard should fit comfortably and not restrict your breathing or speech. It should be easy to clean and made of a resilient, tear-resistant material. Visit your TDP-participating dentist and talk about the best option for you and your children.

Athletic mouthguards are easy to care for and should be taken care of properly. Make sure you clean your mouthguard after each use, either by brushing with a toothbrush and toothpaste or by washing with cool, soapy water and rinsing with clean water. You should regularly wash your mouthguard with soap and water and carry it in a sturdy, well vented container. Don’t leave the piece in the sun because extreme heat can affect the shape and fit of your mouthpiece. Finally, take your mouthguard to each dentist appointment so that your dentist can check for proper fit and damage or wear. Your dentist can answer any questions you might have about use or care.

Visit www.TRICAREdentalprogram.com for more information on mouthguards, cost-shares, other benefits, and to find a TDP participating dentist near you.

 
Tip of the Month

When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? According to the American Dental Association, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t clean your teeth properly. Your new toothbrush’s shape and size should fit your mouth comfortably, allowing you to reach all areas of your mouth easily.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD
Untitled-1

DoD highlights warrior, family care during Warrior Care Month 2014

The Defense Department recently hosted a rehabilitation expo as part of Warrior Care Month as it continues its commitment to supporting wounded, ill and injured troops, their families and caregivers. James Rodriguez, deputy ass...
 
 

Virtual Hope Box mobile app grows in popularity

A free smartphone app that helps people in crisis remember good things in their lives has been downloaded 13,000 times in the past six months, according to data from app stores. That’s good news for experts at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2), which developed the Virtual Hope Box app to help users...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Tinker epitomized Native American strength, leadership

Courtesy Photo Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Tinker was a natural leader who personally led his Airmen into combat missions during the early days of World War II. He perished, along with his crew, during the battle of Midway. The natio...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice)

AF tests first all-electric vehicle fleet in California

(U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Corrice) Airmen from Los Angeles Air Force Base learn how to use charging equipment for the base’s new electric vehicle fleet during a training demo Oct. 31, 2014, in El Segundo, Calif. When not in...
 
 

AF expands digital library content for Airmen

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Airmen at 19 Air Force installations around the world will soon have access to a new 200-title audiobook and eBook digital library, Air Force officials said. The 19 participating installations will help test digital content distribution using the new Air Force eReader AERO; a single portable device developed...
 
 

Air Force officials update AF Instruction 1-1

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials approved Air Force Instruction 1-1, Air Force Standards, Nov. 7, to clarify guidance on Airmen’s religious rights and commanders’ authority and responsibility to protect those rights. The changes come as a result of a Religious Freedom “Focus Day” earlier this year when leaders in the Air Force’s chaplain corps...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin