A mouthguard protects not only the teeth but also the jaws —and even the brain— from injury and trauma as a result of sudden impacts that can happen in sports, especially contact sports. That is why it is highly advisable to wear one not only during the actual game but during training sessions as well.
However, it’s not enough to wear just any mouthguard. Proper protection can only be provided by a well-fitting, custom-made mouthguard. It is also the most comfortable to wear.
This small piece of equipment may help its wearer avoid the need for an emergency dental appointment.
How Mouthguards Work
A well-designed custom mouthguard fits snugly over the teeth and extends well over the gums; this provides protection for the roots of the teeth and the jawbone. Just like wearing a seatbelt, a snug fit is important. In an impact, there is minimal room for movement- everything is held firmly in place.
Why Shop-Bought Mouthguards Don’t Work
Shop-bought generic mouthguards do not offer the best protection from injury, as these tend to fit poorly. Off-the-shelf mouthguards sit over the teeth, typically leaving significant space between the inside surface of the guard and the teeth themselves. They also tend not to cover the gums very well, if at all.
Many athletes find off-the-shelf mouthguards uncomfortable to wear; they are often bulky and may have rough edges, and can be so loose that the athlete has to keep their teeth tightly shut to hold the guard in place. Some athletes find they can’t breathe properly during exertion, others may gag if the guard drops onto their tongue. None of these things helps the athlete enjoy and focus on the game.
An Investment in Safety
The initial outlay for custom-fitted mouthguards may be slightly more than those found in pharmacies and sports stores.
Unfortunately, store-bought options do not provide adequate protection. The cost of rectifying the damage done to the teeth and jaws from a blow to the mouth or head can far exceed the relatively economical investment in a mouthguard that would have prevented or minimised the injury.
Mouthguards at Ailin Teo Dental Surgery
Athletes of all ages can be fitted with a sports mouthguard at our practice. There are a variety of colours to choose from.
Customisations such as the addition of the athlete’s name and phone number can be provided upon request.
Download Our Printable Guides To Dental First Aid
We’ve developed a series of printable Dental First Aid Guides as a reference for what to do in a dental emergency. Download them from the Dental First Aid section of our website.
Please consider sharing this information with others
!. If you are a coach, keep it close during games and training in case Dental First Aid is needed.