15 Oct Which Mouthguard Is Best
By Lauren Bachli Oral Health Therapist
Mouthguards for contact sport are often mandatory as part of a clubs policy, however, it is not just the obvious contact sports that can cause dental trauma; cricket, basketball, netball, soccer are typically classed as ‘non-contact’ but risk of head on collision is still high. Dental trauma during sport can cause serious injury to teeth, gums and jaw bones, and is often complex, irreversible, and difficult to treat and maintenance can last a life time!
Children and adolescents in particular are high risk groups for dental injury in sport; firstly because they are new to the sport and skill, and secondly due to their developing dental anatomy.
As many sporting clubs may already adopt a “No Mouthguard No Play” policy during training and matches, it is clear when one is needed. However, there are many other sports that may justifiably benefit from a mouth guard which is usually up to the discretion of the individual, parent or overarching sporting body i.e. skiing, diving, roller blading.
There are two types of mouth guards available; over the counter known as a ‘boil and bite’, and custom fit.
Stock (Ready Made) mouthguards come in a range of sizes and are available from the pharmacy and sporting shops. Studies into these mouthguards have shown they provide little to no protection to teeth, gums and lips as they are often loose in the mouth, fall out when talking and or participating in sport.
Boil and Bite mouthguards are generally available from the pharmacy or sporting shop. As the name suggests they are boiled in hot water and are bitten down on to roughly contour to the person’s teeth and mouth. Studies into these mouthguards have shown they provide little to no protection to teeth, gums and lips as they are often loose in the mouth, fall out when talking and or participating in sport.
Custom Made mouthguards are fabricated from an impression of the person’s mouth and plaster model. The mouthguard is a double or triple laminate material, durable in thickness and strength which acts as a shock absorber from any impact to the mouth. They are designed to your mouth therefore stay in during play, and talking and breathing are made easier. They are far superior in their protective qualities, and although the most expensive of the 3 options, are well worth the investment considering ongoing dental costs from trauma can cost thousands.
If you or your child play any sport and are unsure if you need a mouthguard, or are part of a sporting organising which requires a mouthguard to participate, please contact our practice on 02 4961 6300 or click here to make an appointment