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How Basketball Players Protect Their Teeth

basketball, mouth guard


In basketball, competition can get very intense. Fast-paced games put the players in close proximity to other players, increasing their chance of getting injured. Spirited players, high speeds, and a flying ball can turn into a nightmare. Players can be hit by their opponents or they might fall face-first to the ground. The risks of accidents are high because of the intense action between shooting, stealing, blocking and performing other court actions. Unfortunately, dental trauma caused by basketball-related injuries can include a broken jaw, damage to the tongue, cut lips, fractures, and cracked or knocked-out teeth.

Numerous studies revealed that basketball has the highest incidence of dental injuries among other sports. A study on college athletes in the U.S. reported that basketball players were five times more likely than football players to sustain a dental injury when participating in a practice or game. Another study conducted in 2007 reported that over one-third of basketball incidence rates involve injuries to the head and face.

A dental incident can lead to a lifetime of dental treatment so it is important for athletes to protect and maintain the strength and health of their teeth. Damaged teeth can often result in a lifelong predicament since a lost tooth cannot grow back. An example of a dental injury was when Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics chipped his tooth in a 2021 NBA game.

The role of mouthguards

Dentists cannot emphasize enough the importance of mouthguards for basketball. During a game, a player will cover their upper teeth with a mouthguard. The dental appliance forms a barrier between the point of impact and the teeth. Using a mouthguard is an effective way to avoid tooth injury in the event of an accidental hit to the face. A mouthguard is a durable dental guard. It can withstand great force and can resist tearing. While wearing mouthguards, athletes can comfortably breathe and talk. In the long run, basketball players do not need to worry about having an emergency trip to the dentist. 

Thankfully, dental injuries can be easily avoided. Investing in a high-quality mouthguard can help protect basketball players from the impact of hands, elbows and other basketball-related injuries. According to the American Dental Association, athletes who do not use mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain a mouth injury. Mouthguards help lessen the effect of an accidental hit to the face and mouth. Furthermore, a mouthguard can protect a basketball player from tooth loss, root and bone damage, chipped or fractured teeth, and other dental injuries. ADA also reports that properly customized mouthguards may also lessen the severity and incidence of concussions. Hence, mouthguards should be an integral part of a basketball player’s athletic gear.

The different types of mouthguards

Mouthguards are made of plastic which conforms to the teeth and mouth structure as a layer of protection during sports. Though mouthguards vary in cost and comfort, yet all provide sufficient protection.

There are three main types of mouthguards. These include:

  • Ready-made or stock mouthguard
  • Boil-and-bite mouthguard
  • Custom-fit mouthguard

The right choice

A good basketball player must be able to easily call out shots, switches, picks and cuts during practice time or games. One of the disadvantages of wearing a mouthguard is that it can obstruct clear communication among the team members; therefore, a good mouthguard is necessary to succeed! The “one-size-fits-all” option of mouthguards inhibits speaking and breathing making it not the best option for basketball players. Having a sports guard that fits well and allows for ease of speech is critical! On the other hand, a mouth guard can be an advantage for the team because the opposing team won't be able to lip-read from afar; since this athletic gear alters the mouth’s normal form.

Custom mouthguards ensure protection and retention so that it makes talking, breathing and swallowing easier. ClearClub custom mouthguards provide impeccable protection and feature unmatched breathability for basketball players. At ClearClub, sports mouthguards are specially designed for basketball players to help prevent painful and costly injuries.

Try the ClearClub custom sports mouthguards and experience relief. ClearClub can provide a new, fresh mouthguard every 3,4 or 6 months straight to your door!