Do you enjoy sport, martial arts or other high-impact activities? Do you wear a mouthguard regularly? If not, try picture yourself with a missing front tooth? In my daily work I get to meet many that chose to give the mouthguard a miss or used one bought at the chemist.
While playing any kind of sport a trauma to the head or face can happen. If the mouthguard is not there to protect your teeth, a “face on” impact can lead to one or more of your front teeth been knocked out or fractured and a hit to your lower jaw can slam your jaws together, leading to cracks or breaks in your back teeth, jaw fractures, damage to your TMJ joint, and injury to your tongue. For kids, sports injuries account for almost 40% of dental trauma.
How Do Mouthguards Work?
Mouthguards act like elastic bumpers – they absorb the initial impact, and spread the pressure around the material. This way they can drastically reduce the chances of an injury like a fractured tooth, tooth avulsion or a concussion.
What kinds of mouth guars are available?
- Ready-Made Mouthguards, are typically inexpensive, and can be purchased at the chemist or sporting apparel store. But because they may not fit well or be uncomfortable to wear, there is a high chance that you will lose or misplace them. This one-size-fits-all item, is likely to fall out or come loose when you run or are active. They can be hard to breathe with and can make it difficult to speak. Also if the whole team’s mouthguard looks alike you may end up wearing someone else’s. Most importantly in the event of an impact they can fly out of your mouth and not protect your teeth.
- “Boil and Bite” Mouthguards, these are more expensive that the “Ready made” ones and require some DIY skills. The mouthguard is placed in very hot water and then it is moulded by biting into it firmly. These mouthguards are less likely to fall out when you are running or active, making it more likely to protect your teeth. These mouthguards are still bulky and can be hard to speak with, while wearing it. Even though these mouthguard have a better fit because of the heat moulding there is still a greater chance that it can come loose “in action”.
- Custom Fitted Mouthguards, are the best option when it comes to protection against trauma and concussion. A study published in the Journal of Athletic Training confirmed that custom-fitted mouthguards can reduce the chances of concussion by more than 50%. Custom fitted mouthguards are exactly that – made to not only fit snugly over your teeth, but have a better retention. Many athletes who use this kind of mouthguard found it much easier to breathe and speak with them due to their even shape and thickness. Custom fitted mouthguards are very durable, can be cleaned easily, and our team at Tooronga Family Dentistry can custom-order yours in different colour combinations and even add your name to it.
Please take the time to get a mouth guard and wear it. Injuries to your face and teeth are common, while participating in sporting activities both for children and adults. A missing front tooth, damage to TMJ joint, and concussions can have a life long lasting significant impact not just on your teeth, but on your health, appearance and confidence too. You can get a custom mouthguard in the colours of you choice and your name on it, made at Tooronga Family Dentistry, please call 98227006.