Mouthguards: Cushions for Brisbane Smiles
Natural teeth are precious, even the best artificial tooth technology cannot completely replace your natural teeth. A traumatic injury to your teeth may never heal and lead to long-term consequences. Mouthguards are the best inexpensive solution compared to subsequent costs of having to restore broken or fractured teeth. Mouthguards can prevent or minimise damage to permanent teeth, tongue or laceration to lips and cheeks due to accidents in contact sports.
Protective Significance of Mouthguards against Dental Injuries
Fall from height, collision with other players or sports equipment like racquets, balls and sticks or trauma inflicted by others (intentionally or unintentionally) are some of the most causes of dental traumas and oral injuries. A mouthguard is a resilient appliance that can be used to control dental injuries. Protective significance of mouthguards has been reported by multiple studies.
Mouthguards Have a Long History of Use
Mouthguards are at least 100 years old. These devices have been used by professional boxers at least from 1920. These days, use of mouthguards are mandatory for certain games. Mouthguards have a proven history of effectiveness for reducing the risks and severity of oral injuries between the players.
Customised Mouthguards Can Prevent Dental Injuries
Mouthguards are highly recommended in body contact and collision sports. Contact sports and leisure activities are claimed to be the major causes of dental traumas. According to ADA more than 2% of Australian children experience dental trauma each year. by wearing mouthguards, millions of teeth can be protected against most dental injuries. Compared to other types of Mouthguards, a dentist-fitted mouthguard has the closest fit.
Mouthguards Are Effective in Oral Injury Prevention
Mouthguard acts as a shock absorber and helps in preventing a traumatic injury to the teeth. By wearing a custom-made mouthguard, thousands of injuries can be avoided each sport season. A custom-fabricated mouthguard is a pliable plastic that separates the dental arches from lips and cheek issues. Mouthguards can offer protection for:
Lips | Teeth | Jaw | Gums
Mouthguards: Primary Means for Protection against Orofacial Injuries
Without Mouthguards, the risk of oral injuries is 60 times more, according to ADA. Mouthguards can dissipate the impact energy and provide direct protection for your teeth. Mouthguards also help with gradual absorption of traumatic blow forces, significantly reducing likelihood of lacerations to soft tissues including lips and cheeks. There are different options when it comes to mouthguards and not all types of mouthguards are the same in terms of fit, comfort and protection.
Comparing Sports Mouthguards
Stock, Boil-and-Bite and Custom
There are three (3) type of mouthguards to choose from:
- Dentist-fitted mouthguards
- Self-fitted mouthguards
- Over-the-counter mouthguards (generally ill-fitting)
Custom-Made Mouthguards (Custom-Fit Mouthguards)
These mouthguards are professionally made for your teeth and offer highest level of protection against traumatic oral injuries. The material used for this type of mouthguard is shock absorbing. They fit better than the other two types. With customized mouthguards, breathing and speech is easier compared to the other two types.
Custom-made mouthguards are either pressure-laminated or vacuum-formed. At Pure Dentistry, mouthguards are custom-fabricated using a heating-vacuum machine on dental casts poured from the impression of the teeth. The fit of a custom-made mouthguard is the best of the three types and in general it is the most comfortable type of mouthguards.
Mouth Formed Mouthguards (Boil & Bite – Self-Fitted Mouthguards)
This mouthguard is made using mouldable thermoplastic material. The material is softened using hot water and when its temperature comes down to a comfortable lever, you put it in your mouth as per manufacturer instruction and bite down to mould the material to the shape of your mouth. This type does not fit very well and its shape changes easily.
These are off-the-shelf mouthguards. They are purchased over-the-counter and are the simplest and least expensive type of mouthguards and provide you with the poorest fit compared to other types. These devices normally are not comfortable because they come in limited sizes and generally don’t fit properly in the mouth.
Stock mouthguards are not inherently retentive and are hold in place by biting teeth together. Stock mouthguards made from rigid plastics, do not provide adequate protection because it cannot properly dissipate the energy of an impact. This is the reason why some dentists recommend avoiding Stock Mouthguards, because they provide a false feeling of protection.
Stock Mouthguards are also known as Ready-Made Mouthguards, Over-the-Counter Mouthguards or Off-the-Shelf Mouthguards.
A quality dentist-fitted mouthguard fits the mouth accurately and allows normal speech and breathing. Mouthguards protect more than just teeth. They help buffer a blow that otherwise could cause cuts to your lips or tongue. Quality Mouthguards are relatively easy to clean.
Mouthguards for Children
Boys aged from 8 to 12 have the maximum rate of dental injuries among children. The best choice of mouthguard for children are dentist-fitted mouthguards. They are comfortable and provide superior protection compared to over-the-counter and Boil & Bite mouthguards.
Kids with custom-made mouthguards won’t struggle because these mouthguards conform to the child’s teeth and fit properly. With custom-made mouthguards, colour selection is also possible. Colour selection helps with easy identification of personal mouthguards among kids in the school. The colour of the mouthguard makes them stand out and are easier to find when on the grass. Dentist-fit mouthguards offer a better fit and are more comfortable so kids usually look after them more.
Participation in contact sports involves a considerable risk of injury to dentition and other oral tissues like lips, cheeks and tongue. Some studies estimate the risk of an injury to the mouth in a single session as 10% and 50% in an athlete’s whole career. This risk can be reduced with use of custom-fit mouthguards.
People playing contact sports Soccer, Football, Rugby, AFL, Wrestling, Basketball, Baseball, Water polo, Hockey, Netball, Volleyball, Kickboxing and all Martial arts, should consider the benefits of mouthguards. The number of oral injuries in games with mandatory use of mouthguards has significantly dropped according to studies. Mouthguards can reduce risk of chipping, fracture, breaking, knocked out teeth and lacerations in soft oral tissues like lips and cheeks because a mouthguard provides a cushioning effect against impact forces.
Dentist-fitted mouth guards are considered the most efficient in reducing dental injury among people participating in sport activities.
A custom-made mouthguard is dentist-fit and your dentist ensures that the Mouthguard conforms to the actual teeth arrangement. A mouthguard essentially cushions a blow to the teeth that otherwise might result in a tooth fracture or loss. It can also prevent you from biting your tongue, lips, tongue or cheeks in an accident. Dentist-fit Mouthguards provide superior protection.
Benefits of Dentist-Fit Mouthguards
Here are some benefits of a dentist-fit mouthguard over Ready-Made and Boil & Bite Mouthguards:
- Superior Protection
- Comfort in Fitting, Speech and Breathing
- Quality Materials
Dentist-Fit Mouthguards are also known as Custom-Made Mouthguards or Custom-Fabricated Mouthguards. They are the most effective dental appliance for preventing injuries because of traumas to the mouth.
Mouthguards and Dental Braces
Consult with your dentist about mouthguards if you have Dental Braces.
Mouthguards are a Worthwhile Investment
It is estimated that a considerable portion of sport-related injuries happen to the mouth. Treatment of orofacial injuries could cost thousands of dollars. Therefore, investing in a custom-fit mouthguard is a worthwhile investment.
- Mouthguards should be an essential gear for athletes
- Use Mouthguards in contact sports and other risky activities like skate boarding
- Clean using a soft toothbrush before and after use
- Avoid hot water, rinse in soapy water and dry out before putting it in a container
- Mouthguard should be kept in its container when you are not wearing them
- Don’t chew on your mouthguard
- Don’t wear retainers with mouthguards
- Don’t use hot water on your mouthguard