Why Do You Need A Custom Sports Mouthguard?
Did you know that between 13% and 39% of all dental injuries occur while playing sports? Even worse, up to 75% of those dental injuries affect at least one of the most visible teeth in our smile. Typical dental injuries can include: broken teeth, knocked-out teeth, injured cheeks or tongues and even broken jaws.
When Should You Wear A Sports Mouthguard?
Although dental injuries are commonly associated with contact sports, such as football, rugby, hockey, and boxing, other dental and oral injuries may occur as a result of accidental contact with people or objects during other athletic activities, including skateboarding, basketball, soccer, squash, gymnastics, and taekwondo. In essence, you need to be aware that all sports activities contain some element of risk that could result in a dental injury.
At Monterey Dental Centre, NE Calgary Dentist, we recommend that anyone who participates in athletic activities should protect their smile with high quality, proper fitting sports mouthguard. A properly fitted sports mouthguard absorbs the shock of impacts. The mouthguard also protects teeth against potential chips, cracks, fractures, knock-outs, and damage. A properly fitted sports mouthguard is an important equipment investment, especially when considering the cost of the potential dental work required to repair damaged teeth.
For people who have to wear braces or other fixed orthodontic appliances, it is especially important to have a sports mouthguard that fits them properly. An impact to the mouth can damage the brackets and wires of the braces, and can also cause added cuts and tears to the soft tissue inside your mouth.
How do sports mouthguards protect against dental injury?
Sports mouthguards are dental appliances that fit over your teeth while you’re engaged in a sporting activity. If you are then struck in the mouth or jaw, the sports mouthguard helps to redistribute the force of that impact. A mouthguard also provides a barrier between your teeth and the soft tissue in and around your mouth. Many studies have shown that mouthguards help prevent chipped or broken teeth and protect against cuts to lips, gums, and other soft tissue in the mouth area.
What types of sports mouthguards are available?
Mouthguards vary in cost, comfort, and effectiveness. An ideal mouthguard is durable, resilient, and comfortable. It should fit properly, be easy to clean, and should not affect your ability to breathe.
Here are the basic categories of sports mouthguards on the market:
- Stock off-the-shelf mouthguards
- Boil-and-bite sports mouthguards
- Custom-made sports mouthguards, designed and fitted by your Monterey dentist
Less expensive off-the-shelf sports mouthguards can initially make you feel as though you’re protected from impact when in fact their protection is rather limited.
The following are some questions you can ask to help determine if your mouthguard is effective:
- Does the mouthguard offer sufficient protection and thickness in key areas?
- Is the mouthpiece not overly bulky?
- Does it fit comfortably?
- Does it allow for natural breathing?
- Is it tear resistant?
- Does it retain its form?
- Is it odorless and tasteless?
Common, off-the-shelf sports mouthguards that are available in sporting goods stores, may not meet any of these criteria – even if they are brand new! In addition, once they have been used for a while by the athlete, the mouthguards wear down and offer less protection. Despite common knowledge of this fact, over 90% of the mouthguards worn by athletes have been purchased at traditional sporting goods stores.
Mouthguards called boil and bite generally fit better. However, the actual fitting process itself has a downside. When biting into a hot mouth guard while it is malleable, the thickness of the mouthguard can be reduced along with the level of protection provided.
For all of your sports mouthguard needs in NE Calgary, we welcome you to book a consultation appointment today. You can also discuss your sports mouthguard options at your next hygiene and check-up appointment – just ask! We look forward to hearing from you soon.