An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Commentaries : Display
NEWS | Nov. 21, 2008

All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth: Mouth Guard Protection

By Staff Sgt. Emily Hartle 1st Dental Squadron

There are more than 200,000 injuries to the mouth and jaw each year. 

Most of these injuries occur during sports activities when there is a blow to the mouth, trauma to the oral tissues and teeth which can lead to significant pain and often result in time-consuming treatment. Injuries can be greatly decreased by wearing proper mouth protection, such as a mouth guard. 

A mouth guard can cushion blows that would otherwise cause broken teeth, injuries to the lips and face and sometimes jaw fractures. They are effective in moving soft issue in the oral cavity away from the teeth, preventing laceration and bruising of the lips and cheeks, especially for those who wear orthodontic appliances. If you wear braces or have crown and bridge work, you should contact your dentist for a custom fitted mouth protector. 

While participating in sports, you should wear a mouth guard anytime there is a strong chance for contact with other participants or hard surfaces. Players who participate in basketball, baseball, softball, football, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, in-line skating and martial arts as well as recreational sports such as skateboarding and bicycling should wear mouth guards while competing. 

All active-duty members are eligible to receive a boil and bite or custom fitted mouth guard at the dental clinic. If you have family members that participate in intramural sports, you can pick up a boil and bite tray for them.
For more information, call the Langley Dental Clinic at 225-7630 ext. 2.1.