Mouthguards play an important role in protecting your teeth, tongue and soft tissue, preventing dental injuries when you engage in contact sports. A high-quality mouthguard that fits well can protect your top front teeth really well. Because they stick out a little, your front top teeth have the greatest risk of damage, injury or even tooth loss. If you’re someone who plays contact sports on a regular basis, you could benefit. Let’s take a look at how do mouthguards protect teeth.
What Are Mouthguards?
Mouthguards are worn inside your mouth and are fitted over your teeth in order to minimise injury in the event of an impact. And, if you thought that mouthguards were just for the more obvious contact sports like boxing, think again. It’s quite common for athletes who play sports like skating, gymnastics, hockey, netball and soccer to wear them too.
So, Do Mouthguards Protect Teeth?
The most common dental injuries that can occur during sports include
- Broken and chipped teeth
- Cuts, bruises and damage to lips, cheeks
- Damage to teeth roots
- Jaw fractures
- Damage to dental restorations
The mouthguard works by absorbing the impact of a blow, instead of your teeth taking the full impact. In other words, the force of the impact is absorbed and redistributed to the mouthguard. And, wearing a mouth guard can reduce your chance of dental injury by up to 60 times.
The most effective mouthguard is one that has been designed specifically for your mouth and teeth.
These are custom mouthguards that are fitted to the contours of your mouth and, while they may take a little longer to manufacture, they certainly are worth the wait.
You can buy a mouthguard off the shelf from your local sports store, along with your other sports equipment. Bear in mind that while this may initially be better than nothing, it probably won’t offer you maximum protection against all dental injuries. For that, you will need a customised design that has been made just for you.
Boil And Bite Mouthguards
These mouthguards offer a chance to get a closer fit, as you boil them in hot water to soften them up before inserting them. This gives you a chance to create a mould of your mouth so the mouthguard offers a snugger fit.
Patients With Specialised Dental Needs
If you wear braces, it’s especially important to protect your mouth against dental injuries, and also from the impact of your orthodontics. Ordinarily, mouthguards are crafted to maximise protection to the upper jaw, but if you wear braces your dentist may recommend a mouthguard that protects both jaws.
If you have a dental implant or wear a dental bridge you will also want to take special care of your mouth to ensure a trauma to the mouth does not affect your dentistry.