Sport Safety: Are You Protected With a Mouthguard?
Sport, leisure and recreation activities are the most common cause of dental injuries. Between 30-50% of these injuries are preventable. A blow to the mouth can cause damage to the teeth and gums which may require extensive dental treatment for the rest of a person’s life. A blow to the lower jaw may also result in concussion. Many of these injuries are preventable with a sports mouthguard. The Australian Dental Association (ADA )recommends that anyone who participates in a sport that carries a risk of contact to the face should wear a mouthguard.
This includes sports such as:
- Ice hockey
Below are a few examples of dental injuries:
- Cut lips, gums, cheeks or face
- Injuries to the tongue
- Chipped, broken or knocked out teeth
- Concussion or being ‘knocked out’
There are several types of mouthguard available on the market. The ADA also recommends that your mouthguard be fitted by a dental professional, rather than use an over-the-counter, ‘boil and bite’ mouthguard.
- Over-the-counter mouthguards don’t give you the same level of protection.
- ‘Boil & bite’ or ‘stock’ mouthguards are available cheaply from chemists and sports stores. They generally offer a poor fit, discomfort and make breathing and speaking difficult.
- Obtaining a well-fitting mouthguard is only possible using an impression of your teeth taken by a dentist.
How long does it take to make my mouthguard?
From the date of your impression you will have a mouthguard within a week.
Is it painful to have a mouthguard fitted?
Being fitted for a custom mouthguard involves visiting a dentist, who will take an impression of your teeth using a putty-like material. The process is quite quick and should involve very little discomfort.
My child has braces, is a mouthguard still suitable?
Children with braces or other fixed orthodontic devices may be able to wear a mouthguard, however this will depend on their specific needs. Mouthguards for children with braces must be designed with care, and we recommend that you visit our practice, our Dentists will be able to advise you.
It is generally recommended that children with removable orthodontic devices do not wear these whilst playing sport.