People of all ages love playing sports and while this is great for overall health and fitness, there are many sports that pose a risk of dental injury, especially contact sports. Whether it’s football, rugby, hockey or even water polo, wearing a correctly fitted mouthguard can protect you from serious injuries such as cracked, or knocked out teeth and soft-tissue injuries to lips, tongues, and gums. As an experienced Bayside dental practice, the team at Dr Tony Heilberg Dentistry has a reputation for providing the highest standard in dental treatment and customer service. Read on to learn how mouth guards work and why they are so important.
How A Mouth Guard Protects
Designed to effectively absorb shock, a mouth guard absorbs the force of an impact to the mouth area before it reaches the teeth. Whether it’s a knock to the face by a person or an object, or a fall against a hard surface, a mouth guard redistributes the force of the impact, dissipating the energy and reducing the likelihood of significant injury. Made from a resilient and forgiving material, it covers the upper teeth preventing damage to tooth enamel, and it also offers excellent protection to the surrounding mouth, gums, and jaw.
Most sports have the chance of contact, and with contact the result can be serious injury. For this reason the Australian Dental Association and Sports Medicine Australia strongly recommend that mouthguards are one of the most important pieces of sports gear and should always be used, whether its a younger child, a teenager or an adult – both at amateur and professional levels.
Types Of Mouthguards
There are a few different types of mouth guards available, and they all share certain characteristics – made from a strong but flexible material, are formed to fit around the teeth and designed to offer some protection to the gums and jaw. However, there are also some notable differences too.
Custom-made – Designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory, custom mouth guards are fabricated based on an impression of your teeth. Custom made options are more costly, however, they offer the highest level of comfort and protection.
Boil and bite – Inexpensive and can be bought at many sporting goods stores and pharmacies, you simply soften the mouth guard in boiled water and then mould it to your teeth by biting down on it. While these may be very affordable, they provide limited protection and are known for being uncomfortable to wear.
Over the counter – Another inexpensive option, these come pre-formed, ready to wear and are available at pharmacies and sports stores. They are generally made with a one-size-fits-all approach meaning they aren’t designed specifically for your mouth so they can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
The best option is a custom-fitted mouth guard. Tailored to suit your individual mouth, it’s far superior to over-the-counter mouthguards because it’s custom designed to fit the exact contours of your teeth and mouth.
Caring for a Mouthguard
Between games, a mouth guard should be kept clean and dry. You should:
- Rinse before & after each use and brush it regularly with a soft toothbrush & toothpaste.
- Store and transport it in a sturdy, well-ventilated container to prevent bacteria from growing.
- Never leave it in the sun or in hot water.
- Replace it immediately if it shows sign of wear, is damaged or ill fitting
- Bring it to you regular dental check-ups for an evaluation. Your dentist may also be able to give it a thorough cleaning and advise you if it needs to be replaced.
If you do sustain a dental injury whilst playing sport, it’s important to immediately contact your local emergency dentist. Mentone locals can rely on Dr Tony Heilberg Dentistry for emergency dental care that improves the chance of making a full recovery and lowers the risk of infections and other complications.
Don’t Risk It, Get a Custom-Fitted Mouth Guard Today
Mouth guards have been proven to significantly decrease the likelihood of a dental injury. This is why an investment in a high-quality mouth guard is essential. Visit the dentist Cheltenham families trust to get a custom-fitted mouth guard moulded to suit you for the ultimate in protection and comfort. Request an appointment online or call us today on (03) 9583 2233.