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Dental Mouthguards Aren’t Just for Kids

Oct 17

Dental Mouthguards Aren’t Just for Kids

Sports Mouthguards Aren’t Just for Kids!

Professional Footballers and Contact Sports Players also Benefit from Them.

Dental trauma resulting from recreational and athletic activities can sideline not only your smile but your life.  Impact injuries from high-velocity sports can have consequences that are painful, expensive, and complex.  Regardless of age. using a mouthguard in these situations can greatly reduce the risk of sports-related injuries – even concussions.

Sports mouthguards are thick, moulded devices made from plastic that conform to the mouth, protecting your teeth and gums.  These removable appliances create an impact barrier between the upper and lower teeth, keeping them aligned and insulated from external impacts caused by blows to the mouth or jaw.  Additionally, they help to protect the soft tissues of the lips, cheeks, and tongue – most especially with braces.  Mouthguards allow the jaw to redistribute impact to the head and reduce the severity of blows that could lead to concussions.

There are three levels of customization, comfort, and expense when considering sports mouthguards. They are as follows:

  • Stock Mouthguards – These mouthguards are generically pre-formed, ready to wear, and can be purchased at sporting goods stores, retail chains, and pharmacies.  Made of plastic, polyvinyl acetate, or polyvinyl chloride, these devices are not custom-fit or customizable.  While they are the least expensive of the mouthguard options, they do not usually fit well or comfortably and they can make it difficult to talk and breathe.  Stock mouthguards are not considered as protective as other types of mouthguards.
  • Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards – These mouthguards are made from a thermoplastic, clay-like material.  Users submerge the tray into boiling water to soften the material and then use the tongue and fingers to press it around the teeth and gums for a more customized fit.  They can be found at most sporting goods stores or online.  While they fit far better than stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards can be tricky when conforming to braces or other dental devices.
  • Custom-Fit Mouthguards – Custom-fitted mouthguards are created at either your dentist or orthodontist’s office.  They use a polymer substance and make a mold of your teeth.  This mould will be sent to a lab, where a completely customized and comfortable mouthguard will be created just for you.  The most expensive of the three options, custom-fit mouthguards are the most effective, comfortable, and durable choice for protection in the event of an impact on your face.  Because they conform exactly to your dental plate, they will not restrict breathing or speech.

Regardless of the type of mouthguard you choose, keeping it clean and dry when not in use is key for your continued oral health and hygiene. Routine replacement is advised as well, as a worn, cracked, or broken mouthguard will not provide optimal protection in an impact situation.

Injuries of the mouth are the most common in contact sports and can be greatly reduced with the use of a sports mouthguard.  These injuries include:

  • Lip, cheek, and gum lacerations and bruising
  • Chipped, broken, or knocked-out teeth
  • Fractured crowns, caps, or bridgework
  • Damage or dislodging of braces or other fixed orthodontic appliances
  • Nerve and root damage

Concussion

As children grow and develop, their teeth and jaw are particularly vulnerable to high-impact injury.  While a “baby tooth” may be replaced by a permanent “adult” tooth growing into its place, the same cannot be said for teens and adults.  Therefore, it is recommended that all athletes participating in contact sports, high-velocity sporting activities, or recreational events wear sports mouthguards while playing sports, even if mouthguards are not a uniform requirement.

Sports mouthguards are one of the most overlooked protective devices in sporting equipment, but the protection they provide is priceless.  A sports mouthguard can help protect your mouth, teeth, jaw, head, and wallet – helping you avoid costly and painful dental injuries.  Call Odin House Dental today to discuss your sports mouthguard needs and book an appointment for a custom fitting.

About Odin House Dental

Creating an Excellent Patient Experience…

Over the last two decades, Odin House Dental Surgery has been proud to serve the suburb of Innaloo and has grown to include 10 dentists, three oral health therapists, and 10 support staff. We have eight surgery rooms, a sterilisation room, a laboratory (where we make your mouthguards, whitening trays, and models) as well as two waiting rooms which include a small play area for children. We also have a unique “special room” complete with a massage chair, large screen TV, and even X Box!

Our dentists are all members of the Australian Dental Association and are local to Perth, so it would be no surprise if you have seen us out and about in the community.