Not wearing your mouthguard during a game is a rookie move. Without a mouthguard, it’s easy to get into a situation where you’re going to take an elbow or a shoulder or a knee to the teeth. This can knock out one or more teeth, which will require expensive treatment to correct. Plus, it could injure your lips, tongue, or cheeks, too. A really bad injury can even be disfiguring. Thankfully, mouthguards are an easy and affordable way to protect your teeth and more from serious injury. It’s best if you wear a mouthguard for any competitive sport–not just traditionally contact sports.
Mouthguards Recommended for All Sports
While it’s obvious to see that someone playing in the AFL should be wearing a mouthguard, you might not realize that it’s actually a good idea to wear a mouthguard in any competitive sport. The ADA doesn’t give a list of recommended sports where you should wear a mouthguard, but encourages all clubs to get their members to participate.
Competition leads to frantic, powerful action, and when everyone is striving to perform at the highest level, unexpected situations can come up that lead to tooth injuries. Even if you’re not supposed to be contacting another player, such as in cycling, there are situations where you might experience a dental injury, so it’s best to wear a mouthguard, even if it’s not strictly required.
Mouthguards Protect Your Teeth–and More
We often think of mouthguards as being for protecting your teeth from injury. They can do that, and more. In fact, mouthguards can protect against many types of injuries, such as:
- Broken teeth
- Knocked-out teeth
- Cut lips
- Cut tongue
- Broken jaw
Mouthguards can absorb the force of an impact that would otherwise be delivered directly to a tooth, or drive your teeth against each other. By absorbing the energy of the blow, they stop that energy from being spread throughout the body. They can also reduce the energy at the point of contact by providing a flexible zone for energy absorption.
But while mouthguards can protect against many types of injury, they haven’t been conclusively proven to protect against concussion. There is some data that suggests they might reduce concussions, but the evidence is unclear overall.
Get a Custom-Fitted Mouthguard
There are many mouthguard options, but they aren’t all created equal. To understand the differences, it’s helpful to divide them into three basic classes:
Stock mouthguards come off the shelf and are used as-is. They are not customized, and they don’t provide much protection. In fact, they can be dangerous, because they can come off the teeth and get lodged in the throat. They’re uncomfortable, and can make it hard to breathe or talk. Because they are uncomfortable, they’re more likely to not be worn.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are a little better. As the name implies, these mouthguards get some degree of customization because you put them in boiling water, then bite into them to form them around your teeth. These are more likely to stay in place and can provide better protection, but they are also more likely to give you a false sense of confidence. If you don’t fit them properly, you might end up with very thin material in places, and the mouthguard might be off center, which means that they provide less protection than they should. They are also prone to wearing out quickly.
Custom mouthguards are manufactured by a professional–usually a dentist–to properly fit your teeth. They provide the best protection and the best comfort and function. Because they’re durable, they often make up for their initial cost by lasting much longer, sometimes two or three seasons even in contact sports and much longer in non-contact sports. We can check mouthguards to make sure they still fit and still provide protection.
We Offer Custom Mouthguards in Sydney
If you are looking for the best protection from a mouthguard in the Sydney area, we can help. Please call (02) 9686 7375 today for an appointment with a dentist at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills.