Every year at Dentistry with Care Chatswood we see children and teenagers who have lost permanent teeth. Often this is because they play contact sports such as football, hockey or martial arts without mouthguards.
A mouthguard is a clear or coloured plastic device that fits over your teeth to protect them from impact. If you or your child plays sport, a mouthguard may be a compulsory requirement. Even if a mouthguard is not compulsory, it may still be in the best interests of you and your family’s health and safety. We see too many broken and missing teeth from sports that are not considered to involve contact, such as tennis or soccer. We would far rather help you protect your teeth than go through the pain and expense associated with a tooth that has been knocked out.
Who needs a mouthguard?
Contact sports typically require players to wear mouthguards. However, experts are now suggesting that athletes wear mouthguards for non-contact sports, such as tennis and gymnastics. This is because you at a higher risk of damaging your teeth. Another player could hit you, you could fall, or a ball or piece of equipment jcould you in the face. Just one small accident could cause major tooth damage or even knock out one or more teeth. Using a mouthguard can prevent these types of injuries.
Types of mouthguards
There are several types of mouthguards available on the market today, including:
- custom made
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are the cheapest style available. You can find these in chemists or sporting goods stores and you can prepare them for use in just a few minutes. You can use ready-made mouthguards as soon as you purchase them, but you may need cut them to fit your mouth size. Both styles of mouthguard can be extremely uncomfortable to wear and often players will discard them during play. Because they are not custom-fitted, there is usually a gap between the mouthguard and the teeth. This can lead to damage from an impact that would be reduced by a custom-fitted mouthguard.
However, if a child is losing their baby teeth or the shape of their teeth are changing during orthodontic treatment, a mouthguard from the chemist may be the best interim solution.
Custom-made mouthguards offer the most comfort and protection because your dentist moulds them to fit the specific contours of your mouth.
The safety provided by custom fitted guards precisely made for a player’s unique mouth is superior to any off-the-shelf sports mouth guard.
If you’re regularly involved in a contact sport and would like to know more about custom fitted sports mouth guards, please contact us for an appointment.
Mouthguards are prone to collect dirt and bacteria if you don’t clean them properly. It is important that you thoroughly wash your mouthguard after each use. Rinse it with cold water. You can also use a toothbrush and toothpaste or rinse with mouthwash on a regular basis.