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The Ins and Outs of Sports Mouthguards: Safeguarding Your Winning Smile

The Ins and Outs of Sports Mouthguards: Safeguarding Your Winning Smile
23 June 2023

Sports offer a myriad of benefits, including improved physical health, enhanced mental wellbeing, and a strong sense of camaraderie among teammates. However, the potential risk of injuries is a reality in nearly all sports. One such risk is damage to the teeth, jaw, or mouth, which can be severe and long-lasting. Enter sports mouthguards, an often overlooked but crucial piece of athletic equipment.

In this blog post, we will explore the world of sports mouthguards, discussing their importance, types, uses, and how to choose the right one. It’s time to give these unsung heroes of the sporting world their due attention.

The Importance of Sports Mouthguards

Simply put, sports mouthguards are protective devices for the mouth that cover the teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, arches, lips, and gums. A sports mouthguard is especially important for anyone participating in contact sports such as rugby, boxing, and martial arts, but can also serve to protect in non-contact sports such as hockey, and topically, cricket!

Wearing a mouthguard during sports can protect against chipped or broken teeth, root and bone damage, and tooth loss. Additionally, it can help to prevent more serious types of injuries like jaw fractures and concussions by absorbing and distributing the forces of a blow to the face.

Types of Mouthguards

There are primarily three types of mouthguards:

  1. Stock Mouthguards: These are pre-made and ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at any sporting goods store. However, they often don’t fit very well and can be bulky, making breathing and talking difficult.
  2. Boil and Bite Mouthguards: These mouth protectors can be moulded to fit your mouth by boiling them in water and then biting into the warm plastic for a customised fit. They provide better protection and comfort than stock mouth protectors but are far inferior to the custom fitted mouthguard.
  3. Custom-fitted Mouthguards: Made by a dentist or a professional lab based on your dentist’s instructions, these mouthguards offer the best fit and protection. Although they are more expensive than the other types, they are more comfortable, durable, and offer superior protection.

Choosing the Right Mouthguard

The best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. When wearing a mouthguard here are some factors to consider:

  • Comfort: The mouthguard should feel comfortable in your mouth, without causing any difficulty in breathing or talking.
  • Durability: your mouthguard should be resilient, tear-resistant, and able to withstand high-impact sports.
  • Fit: The mouthguard should fit properly and not dislodge during the normal course of play.
  • Cleaning: It should be easy to clean and come with a storage container to keep it safe and bacteria-free.

While the thought of a dental injury can be daunting, taking preventive measures like wearing a mouthguard can significantly reduce the risk. It’s a small investment when you consider the alternative: potentially expensive dental procedures and a lifetime of damaged or missing teeth. Make sure to choose a mouthguard that best fits your comfort and needs, because in sports, just as in life, it’s always better to be safe than sorry! Your smile, after all, is part of your winning!

Do you play a sport that requires a mouthguard? Contact Jenkins Dental Practice today on 01458 442036 and book an appointment to have one custom made. If you need it for September don’t leave it too late!

This is our nurse Liza who had this purple and green sports mouthguard made by Chris, our dentist. She loves wearing it when participating in Krav Maga.

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