Are there different types of mouthguards?
Yes, there are two basic types of mouthguards – there are the custom made ones your dentist will make for you, or do-it-yourself mouthguards you can by in your supermarket or local pharmacy.
The ones made by your dentist are made to fit your mouth precisely, including every curve of each tooth and the gum line edges. Because these mouthguards are so closely fitting they give you the best protection against injuries to the teeth and jaw when worn during sports activities.
The do-it-yourself mouthguards are something you buy from a pharmacy and need to be boiled to soften and then shaped to fit you. Usually they are poor fitting and can be very uncomfortable to wear and your dentist would advise against using these as a protective device when playing sport, as their poor fit can cause additional damage in some situations.
Why do I need a mouthguard?
If you play any form of active sport, your dentist will advise you to wear a mouthguard. They are considered to be a useful padding (just like a helmet when you’re riding a bicycle) in preventing irreversible damage that can occur in collision accidents during sports. Even small amounts of contact where the teeth are unprotected can create fractures that don’t heal in teeth.
A mouthguard reduces your risk of jaw bone damage and fractures that can occur when there’s bodily contact in some sports; particularly contact sports.
Which sports are mouthguards recommended for?
Dentists recommend wearing a mouthguard for any sport where there is any chance of a knock to the head or face.
- Martial Arts
- Water Polo
- Horse riding
- In-line skating
- Water Skiing
- BMX bike riding
- Ski Jumping
- Pole Vaulting
Your dentist will advise you to wear your mouthguard during training sessions as well as in competition, as they mostly see injuries that have occurred during training sessions, especially in children, who tend to be a lot more enthusiastic.