Anyone who plays contact sports without an athletic mouthguard is playing a risky game. If you have managed to play up to now without damaging any of your teeth, congratulations. At the same time, you may want to rethink playing without one. There are advantages in having a custom athletic mouthguard and those advantages extend beyond just protecting your teeth.
Types of Mouthguards
You can purchase an athletic mouthguard at a local store. A stock mouthguard is the least expensive type you can get. It is also the least effective of all the mouthguards. The stock mouthguard is so ineffective that the International Academy of Sport Dentistry has a position statement that defines a properly fitted mouthguard as one that has adequate support for posterior teeth.
Second in line are the boil and bite types of athletic mouthguards. While these are a step up, they still have disadvantages. In many instances the wearer must clench the teeth to hold the mouthguard in place. This puts additional strain on the temporomandibular joint and tires the jaw muscles. Additionally, the boil and bite models do not provide the proper thickness to adequately protect the back teeth.
Custom made athletic mouthguards supply adequate support and protection to all the teeth including posterior teeth. This is important for full contact sports. These types of mouthguards have the correct thickness They are also comfortable to wear which cannot be said about over-the-counter mouthguards.
Three Main Advantages of Custom Made Athletic Mouthguards
Protecting your teeth when playing sports is important. Each year millions of teeth are knocked out or knocked loose due to sports injury or trauma. For many of these situations a properly fitted custom athletic mouthguard would have saved the tooth or teeth. The advantages are:
- Adequate protection – The custom athletic mouthguard is made expressly to fit the wearer’s unique dentition. This means the fit is precise. The thickness is enough to protect anterior and posterior teeth.
- Comfort – Unlike over-the-counter mouthguards, the custom mouthguard is comfortable. The wearer does not need to try to adjust for it to fit better because it is made to fit his or her teeth.
- Concussion protection – Perhaps one of the most advantageous characteristics of the custom mouthguard is its ability to protect the wearer from certain concussions. The mouthguard separates the upper and lower jaw and provides enough cushioning so that a blow to the jaw or chin will not necessarily result in a concussion.
Find out more about how a custom athletic mouthguard can protect you or your child. At Pearland Dental we care about all aspects of our patients’ oral health. Make an appointment with us today to learn more about how to protect your teeth and maintain your best oral health.