If you have just started playing a contact sport or your son or daughter is joining a local sporting club, the first piece of equipment you need to buy is a mouthguard. A mouth guard is used to protect the mouth from any type of trauma.
A mouthguard is a flexible custom fitted device which is worn over your teeth while playing athletic and recreational activities. It is especially important if you wear braces or have fixed anterior bridgework to have to have it well fitted.
Mouthguards can cushion damage to your teeth or the brackets on your braces from any blows and physical contact. They also act as a barrier between the teeth/braces and your cheeks, between the lips and tongue, which will limit the risk of soft tissue damage.
A proper mouthguard will allow speaking and won’t limit your breathing and stay firmly in place during action. They provide a high degree of comfort and fit and are durable as well as easy to clean.
Mouthguards are usually only used for the upper teeth although if you have a protruding jaw or if you have other dental appliances on your lower jaw, you should check with your dentist in Belmont as you may need a mouthguard on your lower teeth.
What are the advantages of mouthguards?
By wearing a mouthguard it is helping you to protect against your teeth becoming chipped or broken, root and bone damage as well as tooth loss. They also safeguard against any serious injuries such as jaw fracture, cerebral hemorrhage, concussion and neck injuries. It also helps prevent cutting and bruising of the lips, tongue and cheeks.
What are the different types of mouthguards?
There are three different types available:
- Stock mouthguards which are purchased in sporting shops and pharmacies are pre-formed and ready to wear. These are the least expensive and the worst fitting, as well they will be the least comfortable or protective. They are made of rubber or polyvinyl and can be bulky and increase your tendency to gag. These also make breathing and talking quite difficult.
- Mouth-formed mouthguards are either a shell liner or the boil and bite kind. The shell liner is lined with acrylic gel or rubber and it molds to the teeth and sets to keep its shape. The boil and bite kind are made of thermoplastic. You place it in boiling water and the material is then formed and molded to the contours of the teeth by using fingers, lips, tongue and biting pressure.
- Custom-fitted mouthguards have been designed to cover all of your teeth and are only available by seeing your dentist. They can cushion against falls and blows to the chin and some have a hard outer layers and soft inner lining for comfort against the teeth and gums. Some of these are made of acrylic and some are made from semi-rigid, flexible materials for the patients that are allergic to acrylics.
If you would like any more information or would like to book an appointment to speak with your dentist regarding a custom-fitted mouthguard, call us today.