Oral injuries occur much more frequently than most of us would like to believe. Compelling proof of this can be seen in many dental journal studies. Oral injuries are not only painful but expensive to fix! An athlete who engages in a sport has a 45% chance to sustain an injury sometime during their playing career. Because of these facts, many sports organizations have made mouthguards mandatory! Football and hockey are not the only sports where injuries can occur! Mouthguards should be worn in all sports where contact may occur with another athlete or the playing field.
Why Wear a Mouthguard?
• Protects teeth
• Prevents trauma to the lips, cheeks, and tongue
• Reduces forces that cause concussions neck injuries and jaw fracture3s
• May improve strength and performance
Sports and activities requiring a mouthguard
Football, basketball, soccer, field hockey, boxing, lacrosse, tennis, racquetball, wrestling, boxing, volleyball, baseball, softball, cycling, mountain biking, skateboarding, motocross, off-roading of any type, BMX biking, mountain biking, horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, hockey.
Types of Mouthguards
- Off the shelf
Used by professional athletes, and anyone desiring maximum protection, performance, accurate fit, comfort, and choice of color and/or logo.
The professionally pressure formed custom-made mouthguard is the superior type of mouthguard available because it is fabricated by a dental professional to fit the unique characteristics of the athletes mouth. Highly precise custom impressions are taken and Composed of a thermoplastic polymer and fabricated over a cast of the athlete's dentition, the custom mouth protector does not have the bulk or retention problems associated with the other types of mouthguards. These are the most comfortable mouthguards to wear! The dentist will also be able to register your bite into the mouthguard for a very comfortable fit and bite. Research has shown that athletes can breathe 40% better with custom-made mouth protectors as opposed to all other types, and speech is minimally affected. Having a good flow of oxygen is essential for optimal performance and reduces the chance of muscle fatigue. We have logos for the local high school teams that can be applied along with identification or a phone number.
Professionally made custom suckdown mouthguards (vacuformed)
These mouthguards altho made by a licensed dental professional, do not have the adaptation to the mouth that can be achieved by pressure. In many ways, they are similar to a mail order mouthguard due to inaccuracies.
Mail order custom mouth guards
These rely on you making your own impression and mailing it to a laboratory. Though you can achieve a nice looking customized result, the accuracy is highly variable due to the properties of the material and your ability to make our own impression. You also have no ability to properly register your back teeth into the mouthguard and thus the bite is inherently unstable. If the mouthguard does not fit properly or is causing sore spots, you are stuck and must attempt to adjust it yourself.
Stock mouthguards are made of rubber or a polyvinyl copolymer and may be purchased at local stores or pharmacies. While the physical and mechanical properties of these mouthguards are acceptable, sizes are limited often resulting in a loose and cumbersome fit. They also may interfere with speech and breathing and require that the jaws be closed to hold the mouthguard in place. Since very little can be done to adjust the fit of stock mouthguards, many athletes find them uncomfortable and consider them the least satisfactory of the three types of mouthguards.