Do I Need To Wear A Mouthguard For Sport?

January 12, 2021 By ksdm

It’s no secret that Australians love their sports. It is estimated that over half of Australian kids up to age 14 play some type of sport at least once per week. Many of the most popular sports are high impact and contact sports such as rugby, football, cricket, netball, and basketball. 

As a result of the rise in contact sport popularity, so too have sports-related dental injuries. Contact sports are the most common cause of oral trauma, and the likelihood of a sports-related injury dramatically increases when not wearing a sports mouthguard. 

We take for granted wearing a helmet for cycling, or shin pads for soccer, however mouthguards often get overlooked when we buy sports equipment for ourselves or our children.

Professionally made custom-fit mouthguards should be worn for any activity or sport that may involve contact or collisions. Mouthguards should be worn both during a game and during training. 

Injury Risk Without A Mouthguard

Experiencing direct contact without a mouthguard can result in serious and long term damages to your teeth, gums, and jaw, which may require emergency treatment.

Dental trauma from sports injuries can include:

  • Tooth Loss
  • Tooth Fracture 
  • Broken Jaw
  • Lacerated Gums 
  • Concussions

Custom-Fit vs Over-The-Counter Mouthguard

A mouthguard is a mouthguard, right? Well, that’s not exactly true. There are 2 main types of mouthguards you can buy: over-the-counter or dentist-made. The ADA (Australian Dental Association) recommends only using custom-fit mouthguards made by a trained dentist. 

Boil & Bite Mouthguards

These self-fitted mouthguards are found over-the-counter and are made by immersing them in boiling water, then biting down to make an imprint of your teeth. While providing some level of protection, generic over-the-counter mouthguards are not tailored to fit your mouth precisely. If a mouthguard does not have a secure and snug fit, it can interfere with speaking and breathing, can be uncomfortable to wear, are prone to falling out, and ultimately provide less protection for your teeth. 

Custom-Fit Mouthguards

The recommended choice by health and dental professionals are custom-fitted mouthguards, carefully crafted to fit your mouth perfectly. Custom-fitted mouthguards provide far superior protection by fitting in your mouth securely so there is no movement during an impact.

A mouthguard that fits properly will not only offer far superior protection, but also allows you to talk normally, stays firmly in your mouth, and does not restrict your breathing. 

It’s important to remember that damaged adult teeth do not grow back. Remember to protect your teeth while playing contact sports and activities by wearing a dentist-made, custom-fit mouthguard. After all, you’re wearing your mouthguard for extended periods – you want it to fit right and feel right. 

Interested in a custom-made mouthguard to help protect against damage from sports-related injuries? Contact King Street Dental to book your appointment.