Why is it important to wear a mouthguard?
Every year thousands of people including children are treated for dental injuries resulting from sporting accidents that could have otherwise been prevented or minimised by using a custom fitted mouthguard. According to the ADA only about 36% of children between 5-17 years wear a mouthguard during games. Dental injuries can be painful and expensive to treat in terms of time and money.
A mouthguard acts as a shock absorber and reduces the impact of a blow to the face and teeth. Some of the dental injuries resulting from contact sports include fractured or dislodged teeth or restoration, avulsed teeth, cut lips, or broken jaw.
The Australian Dental Association recommends a custom-fitted mouthguard if you participate in any sport where collision or contact is likely for maximum protection to your teeth and jaws. Some of these sport include but not limited to hockey, netball, baseball, basketball, skateboarding or skiing.
What are the different types of mouthguard?
A custom fitted mouthguard is made by a dentist by making an impression of your teeth. A plaster model is then poured and used to create a custom fit mouthguard. Since they are customized, they offer better protection to your teeth and jaw and provide a comfortable fit.
Over the counter mouthguards (boil and bite) are prepared by placing the mould in hot water and biting on to it. They are far less effective than the custom made ones and may not provide the required protection to your teeth.
How should I care for my mouthguard?
Rinse your mouthguard well before and after use. Allow it to air dry.
Store them in a rigid well-ventilated container when not in use
Do not expose it to direct sunlight as mouthguards may deform from heat.
Check with your dentist for any wear and tear and if your mouthguard is suitable for use.
Replace your mouthguard if damaged
When should I replace my mouthguard?
Your dentist would be able to best tell you when it is time to replace your mouthguard. Make sure to have your mouthguard checked during your regular dental visits. A child’s mouthguard is best to be replaced every 12 to 18 months due to the constant growth and appearance of new teeth.