Sports Mouthguards: A Dentist’s Perspective
When it comes to sports-related injuries, prevention is better than cure. Wearing a sports mouthguard while training and playing sport is the best way to prevent any immediate dental injuries, as well as long-term dental complications.
But not all mouthguards are created equal, and it’s important to know the pros and cons of the available options so that you can make an informed decision.
The two most common types are:
- Over-the-counter (boil and bite) mouthguard
- Professionally made, custom fitted mouthguard
Over-the-counter ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards are a cost-effective option, and can be purchased for as little as $10. However, when it comes to protecting your smile, cheapest definitely isn’t best. Despite labels that would have you believe otherwise, boil and bite mouthguards are often flimsy and ill-fitting, which means they are easily dislodged and offer little protection.
A dentist-made, custom-fitted mouthguard is fabricated from thick 4mm material and is tailored to fit your unique dental structure. With proper coverage and stability, custom-fitted mouthguards can prevent broken teeth, nerve damage, and even tooth loss.
How is a custom fitted mouthguard created?
Our dentists will begin by checking your mouth to see if you have any dental work that may affect the fit of your mouthguard. A custom mouthguard can be fitted in nearly all cases, even if you have braces or if you wear a partial denture.
Then, impressions of your upper and lower teeth will be taken. This ensures that we can fabricate your mouthguard to fit comfortably against your lower teeth.
Fabrication usually takes around a week, and we will see you again to try the final product, to ensure that you are satisfied with the fit.
What sports require a mouthguard?
Any sport where there is a possibility of contact to the face will require a mouthguard. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Football (all codes)
- Martial arts (all)
- BMX and Motocross (along with your helmets)
- Cricket (wicket keeping, slips field positions and batting)
- Beach volleyball
- Whitewater kayaking and rafting
- Some gymnastics
How often should I get a new mouthguard?
Mouthguards should be checked or remade every 12 months for optimal fit and protection. This is especially important for kids and teenagers with growing jaws.
Custom made and fitted mouthguards are recommended by Comfort Dental Gympie to ensure maximum protection.
While custom mouthguards come at a higher price, they significantly reduce the chances of sports-related dental injuries – and you can’t put a price on that! Plus, in some cases, the cost may be partially covered by your health fund.