Give yourself a big old smile in the mirror. You can see that beautiful, complete set of teeth. Now, imagine that same smile with one or more of those teeth missing. Consider how challenging it would become to talk or eat without some of your teeth. While smiles with teeth missing are adorable in children around six that’s mostly because we know what’s coming in behind that set of baby teeth. However, as a teenager or adult losing a tooth or multiple teeth isn’t quite as charming. That’s why as dentists we recommend the use of a mouthguard for anyone who participates in organized sports or other recreational activities What Do Mouthguards Do? Mouthguards are primarily used for the purpose of protecting the mouth. They’re designed to go over the top row of your teeth and help minimize the risk of broken teeth and other injuries to the soft tissues in the mouth (lips, gums, tongue) by cushioning the blow from any direct impact. When Should You Wear a Mouthguard While mouthguards are most commonly used for contact sports like football and boxing, it’s often overlooked in non-contact sports. Sports like weight lifting and others can result in significant teeth...
Your mouth and teeth more specifically will undergo a lot of changes over the years. As humans we are all born with a complete set of teeth that are simply recessed in the jaw. Beginning at the age of six your child will begin losing their baby teeth to make way for adult teeth. Around the age of six the first set of molars become visible and then around the age of 12 the second set of molars will appear. At the age of 17 adults will get their final set of adult teeth, commonly called wisdom teeth. These teeth are in fact a third set of molars, and earn their name “wisdom teeth” because of the age that they emerge in the mouth. What to Expect Anthropologists believe that while wisdom teeth were necessary for our ancestors to chew given their standard diet of nuts, roots, and meat, humans have evolved beyond needing them. In addition, scientists believe that our jaws have evolved and become smaller over time as well. Since wisdom teeth are the last to emerge in the mouth, and given the smaller jaw of most people, there may not be enough space for wisdom teeth to...