Mouthguards are used to protect the teeth and jaws of people who play contact sports. In many organised sports, it is a requirement to wear a mouthguard during games and training. There are other sports, like soccer, in which a mouthguard isn’t mandatory, but a very good idea.
A well-designed, customised mouthguard is able to protect the teeth, jaws and even the brain from a great deal of injury and trauma as a result of sudden impacts that can happen in sports.
What is a customised mouthguard?
A customised mouthguard is one that is built to fit around the athlete’s teeth. The fit is snug over the teeth and the guard is designed to cover as much gum as possible: in this way, they don’t just protect the crowns (top parts) of teeth; they actually protect the roots of teeth and the jawbone as well. Because of this precise fit, the mouthguard is generally comfortable to wear, it cannot be easily dislodged and the athlete can breathe and talk readily.
Special Features of Our Customised Mouthguards
Mouthguards can be made in single, dual or multi colours to match your team colours. The athlete’s name can be embedded in the mouthguard to make identification easy.
Elite level athletes may require a more robust, articulated mouthguard; these are also available in our practice.
How Do They Work?
If the athlete receives a blow to the face, the mouthguard absorbs much of the energy from the impact. The teeth and jawbone are protected from damage through being snugly encased in the mouthguard, and even the brain is protected from much of the energy from the impact, minimising the occurrence of concussion.
What is the alternative?
The alternative to a customised mouthguard is one that is purchased over-the-counter, either from a pharmacy, supermarket or sports store. These mouthguards might be worn straight from the pack, or they may be a boil-and-bite type which allows a low level of customisation.
The trouble with these mouthguards is that they are made from a softer, less resilient plastic and therefore don’t offer the same level of protection to the teeth and jaws. The fact that they don’t fit properly over the teeth and gums means that severe injuries to the teeth and supporting bone can still occur. The poor fit sometimes means the athlete must hold the mouthguard in place with their teeth clenched together, which makes speaking a challenge and breathing during exertion difficult. The thickness of the plastic, or rough edges that are left from trimming the mouthguard, can cause irritation to the inside of the mouth. Unfortunately, many young athletes ditch their mouthguard as soon as they are able to because of this lack of comfort.
Over-the-counter mouthguards are a cheaper option than customised mouthguards, but they offer far less protection. It is important to remember that the costs of the dental (and possibly medical) treatment that would be required after a severe dental injury can be significant.
Many young athletes wear sports footwear which is replaced as the child grows and that is carefully selected to be durable and comfortable, thereby allowing the athlete to perform at their best. We believe that a customised mouthguard is just as important an investment in the young athlete’s health and safety.
Want to know more about Mouthguards? Check out these articles:
- Keeping Your Teeth Safe
- For Which Sports Should A Mouthguard Be Worn?
- Mouthguard Awareness
- Dental Injuries- They Don’t Just Occur On The Sports Field
- Preventing Dental And Facial Injuries
- Dental Emergencies- The Knocked Out Tooth
- Dental Emergencies- The Dislodged Tooth
- Dental Emergencies- The Broken Tooth
- Dental Emergencies- The Lacerated Mouth
Download Our Guide To Dental First Aid
Click here to download, and please consider sharing this information with others! If you are a coach, consider laminating the brochure and storing it in your coach’s bag as a ready reference if Dental First Aid is needed.