Why Do You Need A Sports Mouthguard?
Dentists estimate that between 13% and 39% of dental injuries occur while playing sports. Even worse, up to 75% of all dental injuries affect at least one of the most visible teeth in our smile – the front teeth. Dental injuries include: knocked out teeth, injured cheeks, gums or tongue, broken jaws, and broken teeth.
When should you wear a Sports Mouthguard?
Although a dental injury is commonly associated with contact sports, such as football, rugby, hockey, and boxing, dental and other oral injuries may also occur as a result of contact with people or objects during many other athletic activities, including basketball, soccer, squash, gymnastics, skateboarding, and taekwondo. In essence, all sports activities contain an element of risk of dental injury.
For people who wear braces or other fixed orthodontic appliances, it is especially important to have a sports mouth guard that fits 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 bite while you’re engaged in an activity. If you are hit in the mouth or jaw, a mouth guard helps to redistribute the force of the impact. A mouth guard 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 mouthguards
- Boil-and-bite sports mouthguards
- Custom-made mouthguards, designed and fit by your dentist
Less expensive mouthguards purchased at sporting goods stores can make you feel as though you’re protected when in fact the protection is limited.
The following are some guiding criteria to help determine if your mouth guard is effective:
- It is protective with sufficient thickness in key areas, but not overly bulky
- It fits comfortably, allowing natural breathing
- It is tear resistant and retains its form
- It is odorless and tasteless
Common, one-size-fits-all mouthguards purchased at a sporting goods store may not meet any of these criteria, even when they are new. Once they have been used for a while and are chewed out of shape, their condition makes them less protective. Despite this, over 90% of the mouth guards worn have been purchased at sporting goods stores.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards will fit better. However, the fitting process has a downside. When biting into the hot mouth guard to give it the right shape, the thickness of the device is reduced and with it so is the level of protection provided.
Custom Made Sports Mouthguards
Fortunately, there is a choice that meets all of the criteria of a good and effective mouth guard. A custom-made mouthguard is much more comfortable and safe and allows you to breathe and talk naturally.
Custom made mouthguards range from basic types that are suitable for kids and junior athletes to professional mouthguards for athletes looking to enhance their athletic performance.
The price varies from basic to professional custom-made mouthguards at our Calgary dental clinic. Because there are many choices, we recommend that you book an appointment to discuss options with our team of dentists to determine what works best for your needs.
For all of your sports mouthguard needs in Chestermere, we urge you to book an appointment for a consultation today. We can also discuss sports mouthguard options with you at your next hygiene and check-up appointment – just ask! We look forward to hearing from you soon.