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The Advantages of Custom-Fitted Mouthguards

It’s back-to-school and of course back-to-sports. And nothing could be more important for families than sport safety. Prevention is key. Making sure your young player is wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard, fabricated by a denturist, will not only help prevent broken teeth but protect the entire oral cavity.  

Mouthguards, (mouth protectors or gum shields) are moulded pieces of acrylic form-fitted for either the upper or lower set of teeth. Worn over the teeth, a mouthguard assists in cushioning a blow to the face and help minimize broken teeth and tissue damage to the tongue, lips and inside of the cheek.

Ironically the idea of a mouthguard came from boxing. First developed in 1890 by London dentist Woolf Krause, who developed a guard to protect boxers from lip lacerations.

Types of Mouthguards:

There are three types of mouthguards:

  • Custom-fitted: Fabricated by a denturist they are generally the most expensive but provide the best fit. And because of the fit, this type of mouthguard doesn’t interfere with speech or breathing when worn.
  • Stock: Pre-formed and ready to wear, these types of mouthguards are usually the least expensive. However, the fit is often compromised. The often bulky size interferes with breathing and talking.  
  • Boil-and-Bite: Available in most sporting stores, Boil-and-Bite mouthguards are softened in warm water and then mould around the teeth when the player bites into the plastic. However, there are comfort complaints including it's awkward to wear. Players have to keep their jaws closed in order to keep the guard in place and therefore interfering with talking and breathing.  Boil-and-Bite mouthguards tend to break down quicker than other mouthguards due to re-heating.  

Just like dentures, when it comes to mouthguards all about the fit. If mouthguards are comfortable, then they are more likely to be worn and allowed to do their job. 

Selecting The Right Mouthguard:

The most effective mouthguards are custom-fitted. And because they are so comfortable and don’t interfere with a player's game, parents and coaches can be sure that they will be worn.players will in fact wear them. A custom-fitted mouthguard fits so well, players can breathe and talk normally. And most importantly, a custom-fitted mouthguard will stay in place until it’s removed.

A custom-fitted mouthguard should be considered critical for players with braces or who have had fixed bridge work. A blow to the face could damage a brace bracket or fixed orthodontic appliances. In the case of braces, a mouthguard is another protective barrier between braces and the check lining and lips limiting the number of soft tissue injuries.

Are Custom Fitted Mouthguards Worth The Investment?

In their newsletter, Mouth Healthy, the American Dental Association writes:

“Athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouth guard. While collision and contact sports such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, you can experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating” 

 

Give us a call today, for more information on custom-fitted mouthguards.

 ~ Allan

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