November 26, 2022

A mouthguard is a protective dental device for your mouth which is meant to cover your gums and teeth to reduce and prevent injury. This gadget is most frequently used to prevent dental injury during contact sports, in treating bruxism or TMD. It can also be a part of particular dental procedures like tooth bleaching. It goes by various names such as mouth piece, gumshield, gumguard, mouth protector, bite plane, bite splint, occlusal splint or nightguard, all depending on application.

In a study published on the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Vol. 2 Issue #1 of March 1999 that was done on 961 Australian footballers, it became apparent that the majority of their emergency dental injuries were as a result of their sporting activities. This study has got powerful implications in terms of providing emergency dental treatment for sportspeople and for the need of better dental injury prevention steps to avert potentially disfiguring and expensive dental injuries in athletes.

Who Can Use A Mouth Guard?

Mouth pieces or guards ought to be used by anybody — both adults and children — who take part in contact sports like boxing, soccer, football, basketball, field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse. Nevertheless, even persons participating in sports that are noncontact, for instance gymnastics and recreational activities like mountain biking or skateboarding, would benefit greatly from having a mouth protector. Children and adults who grind their teeth when sleeping at night may use a bite splint or a nocturnal bite plate made to avert tooth damage.

In a position statement by the Australian Football League (AFL) on the role of mouthguards and helmets in Australian Football, it was emphasized that these have a definite role towards preventing harm to the face and teeth, and are recommended strongly at all football levels. The recommendations were based on advice offered by the AFL Medical Officers’ Association and AFL Concussion Working Group in 2012

What Are My Options?

Basically, there are three main types from which you could choose from:

– Stock mouth protectors: These are preformed and they are available ready to be won. They are low-priced and may be purchased at most department stores or sporting good stores.

– Boil and bite protectors: They can also be purchased at most sporting goods stores. They may offer you a better fit compared to the stock mouth protectors.

– Custom-fitted protectors: These are custom designed for you and are made in a professional laboratory based on the instructions of your dentist. Your dentist will first make a teeth impression and then a mouth piece/guard is molded utilizing a special material. Owing to the usage of the special material and because of the extra work and time involved, this individually-made mouth protector is more costly than all the other types, although it offers the most protection and comfort.

Your dentist can recommend the best device for you. An effective guard ought to be durable, comfortable, easy clean, able to resist tears, and should not in any way restrict your speech or breathing. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has developed some handy information sheets to assist coaches, teachers, PE staff, children and parents comprehend how best to guard teeth against injury whilst taking part in sports.