Protect those pearly whites


Sports activities are a common hobby that many Airmen enjoy. Unfortunately, many sports carry some risk of injury.

A commonly overlooked area prone to injury is the mouth, including the teeth and gums.

Basketball, for instance, is fun until a stray pass hits a player in the face leaving one less tooth with which to smile.

An excellent way to prevent or reduce serious dental trauma is by wearing a mouth guard. The thin, soft plastic-like material covers all of the sharp surfaces of the teeth, protecting the soft tissues of the athlete’s lips, cheeks, gums and tongue from lacerations. Wearing a mouth guard is essential for participants who play sports where impact, contact or collision is likely to occur.

A mouth guard may not look like much, but mouth guards pack tremendous preventive ability when worn and could save the wearer a trip to the dentist’s office.

According to the American Dental Association, wearing a mouth guard can significantly decrease the risks of injury to the oral cavity. Those who do not wear a mouth guard are almost two times more likely to sustain an injury than those wearing one. By simply using a mouth guard, players avoid many hours in a dentist’s chair and thousands of dollars in dental care costs.

Sports stores carry mouth guards or a dentist can custom fit a mouth guard made from material that is more durable and comfortable to wear.

Active-duty members can schedule an appointment to have a custom-made mouth guard by calling the Luke Air Force Base Dental Clinic for an appointment at 623-856-7535.