Mouth guards are an invaluable contribution to dental safety. A mouth guard is a flexible device that fits over the teeth to protect them from injury, particularly during sporting activity. But many people don't use them, taking the risk of breaking their teeth or jaw or of damaging the soft tissue. Here are some of the reasons people give for not wearing one.
Nobody else does
It may seem that very few sporting figures bother with this protective device; and if none of your teammates use them, why should you be the one to do something so uncool? But in fact, more and more athletes are using them—a 2014 study showed that three quarters of rugby players wear a mouth guard—and it's even less cool to have gaps in your teeth from a sporting collision. Following the herd is never a good reason to take risks with your safety. Let the others risk injury, and keep your own teeth protected.
They're just for men
Some women believe that men's sports are far rougher and more likely to result in accidental collisions because of the extra aggression. But in fact this is far from being the case. Sporting activity can get rough no matter the gender of the participants, and accidents can always happen during any kind of physical activity. Mouth guards aren't just for men—make sure you're protected, whatever your gender.
If you're using a mass-produced mouth guard, it might well be uncomfortable. Everyone's mouth is different, and a mouth guard made with a uniform thickness may be bulky in part of your mouth that doesn't need it. But is this really worse than the discomfort caused by a knocked-out tooth? And in any case, there's a simple solution: buy a custom-made mouth guard, designed specifically to fit over your own teeth, and you'll never complain about discomfort again.
No one told you to
Not all coaches or parents appreciate the need for protecting the teeth in sport and so will not impress on young players the benefits of wearing a mouth guard. But you are quite capable of making your own decisions. Just because you weren't made to wear one at school doesn't mean you can't size up the risks now. Play safe, and protect your teeth.
Accidents happen, and mouth guards protect against them. Whatever your reasons for not wearing one, think again, and keep your teeth intact.