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?
Customised mouthguards are built to fit around the athlete’s teeth. The fit is snug over the teeth and it covers 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 and won’t easily dislodge. The athlete can breathe and talk readily.
Special Features of Our Customised Mouthguards
Your dentist can make mouthguards in single, dual or multi colours to match your team colours. The athlete’s name can be embedded in the plastic 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 snug fit of the mouthguard protects the teeth and jawbone. It can even protect the brain from much of the energy from the impact, minimising the occurrence of concussion.
What Is The Alternative?
“Over-the-counter” mouthguards are sold in pharmacies or sports stores. There are two types:
- Stock mouthguards – worn straight from the pack
- Boil-and-bite – which allows a low level of customisation.
The trouble with this type is that they are made from a softer, less resilient plastic. They simply 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.
Over-the-counter guards often require trimming, but it is very difficult to create a smooth surface afterwards. The rough edges can irritate 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.
The Cost Of Mouthguards
Over-the-counter mouthguards are a cheaper option than customised ones, but they offer far less protection. It is important to remember that the costs of the dental (and possibly medical) treatment after a severe dental injury can be significant.
Many families buy their young athletes comfortable and durable sports footwear and replace them as the shoes wear out. Wearing comfortable, durable footwear contributes to a young athlete’s performance. We believe that a customised mouthguard is just as important an investment in the young athlete’s health and safety.
Want to know more? 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
- The Knocked Out Tooth – Dental Emergencies Part 1
- The Dislodged Tooth – Dental Emergencies Part 2
- The Broken Tooth – Dental Emergencies Part 3
- The Lacerated Mouth – Dental Emergencies Part 4
Download Our Guide To Dental First Aid
Click here to download, and please consider sharing this information with others! If you are a coach, keep it handy as a ready reference if Dental First Aid is needed.