Whether it's for children playing in organized sports, adults playing in non-competitive leagues or even professional and semi-professional athletes, injury prevention is vital at all levels of sport. Those who participate, or parents in the case of younger children, should be taking several precautions when it comes to keeping themselves safe and protected during any game, practice or related event.
At Damage Control Mouthguards, we're here to cover one particularly vital area here: Your mouthguard. We offer a huge range of custom and boil-and-bite mouthguards for any sport, from combat sports like MMA and boxing to team sports like football, basketball and hockey – plus many others in between. What are some of the top areas experts point to when it comes to preventing sports injuries, both in terms of mouthguards and other themes? This two-part blog series will go over several to keep in mind.
First and foremost, those participating in any sport should be utilizing the proper equipment, especially for contact or collision sports. The mouthguard is one major piece here – more on this in a moment – but there are also several others.
These will depend in some part on which sport is being played. For a heavy contact sport like football or hockey, significant padding will be needed in addition to a strong, sport-approved helmet. Soccer players will need cleats and shin pads; the list goes on and on. The primary areas of protection are the head and upper body areas.
Across numerous sports, the mouthguard is one of the single most important pieces of safety equipment available. It protects not only the teeth, but also the jaw, mouth, tongue and other related areas, absorbing the shock of impact while preventing major concerns.
And while we think of mouthguards as automatic for contact sports, they're vital even for those where there aren't collisions as frequently. Even younger kids should be wearing mouthguards while playing games like soccer or basketball – while contact is not necessarily desired in these sports, it absolutely still takes place, and there are significant mouth and head risks if a mouthguard is not worn.
Never Play Through Pain
Whether you're a pro or an amateur who plays for fun, never compete in any sporting activity while in pain. All this does is increase the risk of worsening a given injury, no matter where it is on the body. If you're injured, properly recuperate before returning to play.
Warm Up is Vital
Another major tool for avoiding injury is warming up properly, from some basic activities to get the muscles going to specific stretches that will lengthen and strengthen the muscles. This one is especially important in cold weather, where muscles, joints and tendons will take even longer to warm up.
For more on why both mouthguards and other equipment or techniques are vital for sport injury prevention, or to learn about any of our custom mouthguards, speak to the staff at Damage Control Mouthguards today.