Protect your teeth from injury: Use a custom-fitted sports mouth guardOral Care Tips
Posted: March 12, 2018
If you, like many Aussies have a passion for sport, you are probably at risk of injuring your teeth.
Many sports have risk of contact and therefore serious dental injury. These sorts of injuries are often difficult to treat, and often involve a lifetime of expense. whether it’s playing footy or netball, skateboarding, hockey or rugby, the risk of contact to the face and teeth is an ever-present danger. To minimise this risk, it is best to wear a quality, custom made mouth guard.
If you’re in danger of experiencing a dental injury through high-impact sports and don’t use any protection, you’re potentially leaving yourself open to painful and costly dental work. Damaged teeth also have the potential to lead to a host of other health related problems.
What is a mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a thick, often spongy shield that fits over your teeth. Mouthguards are usually worn during sports and other activities that involve a high risk of impact to the face.
They can be helpful outside of sports too. For instance, you might need to use a specialised mouthguard for jaw issues or teeth grinding. Dentists sometimes use special types of mouthguards to help treat grinding, snoring or sleep apnoea as well.
What does a mouthguard do?
A mouthguard provides a defensive wall to keep your teeth, soft tissue, and jaw safe. If you experience a traumatic blow to your jaw area, a mouthguard helps to dissipate the force over a larger surface area, as well as absorbing some of the energy.
Good quality sports mouthguards can minimise the risk of your teeth getting chipped, broken, or even dislodged completely. With a huge variety of mouthguard options available, choosing the right mouthguard is important. You want to make sure you’re getting adequate protection as well as comfort.
A Custom made sports mouthguard can protect you by:
- Cushioning your teeth against impact
- Protecting against jaw joint and soft tissue injuries
- Preventing neck and jaw injuries
- Reducing concussion
What should I look for in a mouth guard?
A good quality mouthguard is one that allows you to speak and breathe easily, stays in place throughout the action, is comfortable and fits well, is easy to keep clean, is tear resistant and is tasteless. You want to make sure your mouthguard has all these elements to make sure you’ve got the best possible protection with comfort. Our IDN dentists can assist you with getting the perfect fit to suit your mouth.
A mouthguard with a custom fit is especially important if you wear braces, have fixed anterior bridgework or just want the best chance of protection from your teeth being exposed to potential trauma.
Custom-fitted Mouthguards vs off the shelf mouthguards
The Australian Dental Association recommends using custom-fitted mouthguards to protect your teeth during sports or extreme activities. The ideal mouthguard is one that has been fitted and custom-made for your mouth. The better your mouthguard fits, the better coverage and protection it gives you.
Custom mouthguards are fitted by a dentist using an impression of your teeth and a plaster model. Your dentist can also take into account the specific risks that might be associated with your sport and provide extra support and cushioning in these areas. You can be sure that you are getting the optimum protection for your teeth and jaw.
Custom- made mouthguards need to be regularly checked (once every year) to make sure they still fit correctly and are giving your teeth maximum protection. Your teeth are growing and jaw is changing each year so your mouthguard may need to be adapted or replaced to ensure adequate protection. Any damage can cause you to experience pain and discomfort and the mouthguard will be less able to absorb any impact to your face.
How to care for your mouthguard
Before and after using a mouthguard, rinse it or brush with a toothbrush and paste, then allow it to air-dry. On occasion, clean the mouthguard with cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. When not in use, your mouth guard should be kept in a cool place and stored in a plastic container with vents that allow air to circulate.
Most importantly, remember to bring it home after the game. If it’s left in the car, for example, the heat can destroy the shape, rendering it useless. Keep an eye out for any wear or tear as this will indicate the need for replacement.
Get your own custom made mouth guard today!
Get sport ready and visit your local IDN dentist, they will be happy to assist you with your custom fitted mouth guard and in helping you to protect your smile while playing the sport that you love.
Find an IDN dentist near you