I watched game 7 of the thrilling matchup between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers to the bitter end as I did the other games this post baseball season of the Milwaukee Brewers. It was definitely a heartbreaker as Clayton Kershaw retired our last batter of the 9th inning to squelch the Brewer’s chance to go to the 2018 World Series.
If any of you watched to the end of game 5 in that series, you may have noticed the Brewer’s designated hitter Curtis Granderson slide head first into second base after hitting a double. During the slide, his helmet rattled off of his head, and in a stroke of terrible luck, bounced backwards into his lower lip. In doing so, his upper front right tooth fractured horizontally as it sliced though his lower lip, colliding with his helmet. They looked around for the fragment of tooth for a short while only to find out later that it had been lodged inside his lower lip the entire time. In fact, as soon as it happened I sent a text out to my friends saying, “I will bet any money the piece of tooth is still inside of his lip!”
All of this could have prevented if he had been wearing an athletic mouth guard. Mouth guards dramatically reduce the risk of dental trauma as it acts as a shock absorber between the teeth and the object it comes in contact with. Often times, with an impact, it is the upper and the lower teeth colliding together to cause the destructive force. A mouth guard acts as a barrier between the upper and lower teeth to prevent that from occurring. Although dental injuries can occur in all sports such as baseball and football, basketball is where most sports related dental injuries come from in this day and age. This is partly due to the fact that athletic mouth guards have been a requirement in organized sports like football, but it is not a requirement in basketball yet. Thankfully, it seems more and more professional basketball players are wearing mouth guards, and setting a good example for our youth to start wearing them more frequently. Now that the Milwaukee Bucks basketball season is in full swing, you can look to see who is wearing one and who isn’t. Hopefully we see Giannis Antetokounmpo wearing one!
At Hillcrest Family Dental, we strongly advocate wearing an athletic mouth guard if you are planning to play in any sort of physical activity where head and neck impacts are a possibility. I, Dr. Ross Oberschlake, will make custom mouth guards of different colors of your choosing. He can even put pictures in them, words on them, your nickname, or a logo on your mouth guard if you choose. We want you to play hard, but also play safe.picture compliments of MLB – NBC Sports