We’ve all heard a story or know someone who sustained a serious dental injury while playing sport. In Australia, thousands of adults and children receive blows to their face while playing sport resulting in damage to their teeth (such as chips, loose teeth and lost teeth).
In a lot of cases, these injuries could have been prevented by wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard.
The first prototypes of mouthguards originated from boxing where boxers would clench all sorts of weird and wonderful materials between their teeth such as cotton, rubber and even pieces of wood. In the late 19th century, a British dentist named Woolfe Kraus made a mouthguard for his amateur boxer son Phillip Krause from a natural rubber material. By the 1950’s the use of mouthguards spread into other contact sports and by the 1960’s mouthguards became a compulsory requirement for contact sports in a lot of American schools. Since then mouthguards have come a long way and are made from a thermoplastic material these days.
Mouthguards are designed to protect your teeth, lips and jaws from impact by absorbing force. They have even been shown to offer protection against concussion2.
A hard knock to your front teeth can lead to a long-term and costly dental treatment not to mention a great deal of pain. We often see players in a ‘collision’ sports such as AFL, rugby, and boxing wear mouthguards but often forget about non-contact sports such as soccer, cricket, and netball. A large proportion of dental injuries occur during these seemingly ‘safe’ sports due to sudden impact to the face. So don’t risk it and play safe by getting a custom-fitted mouthguard.
What’s the best way to protect your mouth?
Often sport equipment stores have an array of simple boil-and-bite mouthguards for sale that don’t require a trip to the dentist and are low cost. Often these mouthguards don’t come in a good range of sizes and don’t fit as well as a custom-made mouthguard that you get through your dentist. Due to poor fit, they offer significantly less protection from injuries and are less comfortable to wear compared to the professionally-made type.
Here at Bite Dental, we work closely with a dental technician to make you a high-quality mouthguard. We start the process by taking an impression of your teeth and then manufacturing a plaster model so we can accurately assess them and design a mouthguard that best suits the shape of your mouth.
Good on you if you are already protecting your teeth by wearing a mouthguard while you play sports. Make sure to clean it after each wear using cold water and a small amount of detergent on a soft toothbrush.
Also, remember that it is made from a thermoplastic material so avoid using hot water or leaving it in a hot car. It can last for years if it gets looked after well, and you only have to change it if it becomes damaged or you have dramatic changes in your dentition such as new teeth or orthodontic treatment.