WHAT ARE PROTECTIVE / SPORTS MOUTH GUARDS?
A properly fabricated mouthguard covers and protects all of the teeth, especially the posterior teeth, with a prescribed thickness to diffuse impact to the jaw. The mouthguard separates the mandible and maxilla, thereby buffering the transmission of concussive effect to the base of the brain.
Mouthguards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.
WHY WOULD YOU NEED A PROTECTIVE / SPORTS MOUTH GUARDS?
The public is largely uninformed about the serious consequences of sports trauma as well as methods of prevention. Trauma resulting from orofacial sports injuries can range from the considerable pain and expense in replacing a lost tooth to the greater impairment and cost resulting from a concussion that can end a sports career. When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age.
While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, any athlete may experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.
The best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. However, if you can’t afford a custom-made mouthguard, you should still wear a stock mouthguard or a boil-and-bite mouthguard from the drugstore. Learn more about each option:
- Custom-made: These are made by your dentist for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions because they are individually created for fit and comfort.
- Boil and bite: These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. Always follow the manufacturers' instructions. CustMbite MVP and CustMbite Pro are a boil and bite mouthguards that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Stock: These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PROTECTIVE / SPORTS MOUTH GUARD?
Dr. Saeidy will ask patients if they participate in team sports or other activities with risks of injury to the teeth, jaw and oral soft tissues (mouth, lip, tongue, or inner lining of the cheeks). According to the ADA, the Councils recommends that people of all ages use a properly fitted mouthguard in any sporting or recreational activity that may pose a risk of injury. Mouthguard use has been shown to reduce the risk of sports-related dental injuries. Not only do mouthguards protect teeth, but they also protect the head from blows to the jaw that can result in concussions and unconsciousness.
It is important for mouthguards to be worn, to be safe, however, to be effective, they also have to be used.