NB Dental – Brisbane Dentists
Unfortunately each year, we treat many adults and children for dental injuries that could have been prevented or minimised by simply wearing a mouthguard. We strongly recommend wearing a mouthguard in any sport or activity where collision or contact is likely, and during both games and training. It may surprise you to know that a lot of the trauma we see happens during training! Often injuries in sports or activities that do occur are those we didn’t even consider to be a danger. It’s always best to ‘play it safe’ and wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
The damage done
Mouthguards can protect you from some pretty horrible injuries, including broken jaws, fractured, cracked or knocked-out teeth, nerve damage, cut lips. A lifetime of dental treatment can be required following trauma. You don’t just have to be playing obvious contact sports like rugby union, rugby league, AFL, hockey and boxing to sustain those kinds of injuries. Even non-contact sports like cricket, basketball, netball, touch football, skateboarding and soccer, carry a real risk of accidental collision, and resulting dental trauma.
Protecting your mouth
The Australian Dental Association recommends a custom-fitted mouthguard for all Australians who participate in contact sport or sports with high risk of dental injury. A custom-fitted mouthguard that has been designed by your dentist makes breathing and speaking are a lot easier when wearing your mouthguard, and overall are a lot more comfortable than their ‘boil and bite’ counterparts. ‘Boil and bite’ are the mouthguards that you can purchase from a chemist or sports store that offer less protection as they are ill fitted and loose in the mouth, which can be dangerous during impact.
The Custom-Fitted Mouthguard – What to Expect
A custom-fitted mouthguard is the best option; your dentist will take an impression and create a plaster model of your teeth. This model will be used to accurately assess your mouth and design a uniquely fitted mouthguard. Once your mouthguard is fitted your dentist will advise you how to care for it properly. A custom-fitted mouthguard may need to be replaced if it has been damaged, or if you have new teeth since your mouthguard was first fitted. Always make sure you have your mouthguard assessed by your dentist when you go for your regular check-ups.
How a mouthguard works
Wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard works by absorbing and spreading the impact of the damaging blow to your face. A mouthguard custom-fitted by your dentist is better than an over-the-counter one because it’s specially designed to fit the exact contours of your mouth, based on an impression your dentist makes of your teeth. In contrast, self-fitted, over-the-counter boil and bite mouthguards, are supposed to fit themselves to the shape of your mouth after being boiled in water, are often ill-fitting, offering very little real protection in a high-impact situation.
Wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard
Some people don’t like wearing mouthguards because they feel uncomfortable and restrictive. Custom-fitted mouthguards, by virtue of their exact fit, let you talk normally, don’t restrict your breathing and stay firmly in place, allowing you to concentrate on playing the sport you love. You should see them as an integral part of your sporting equipment and definitely worth the investment. To keep your mouthguard in tip-top working order, you’ll need to keep it out of the sun, wash it in cold water after use, and get your dentist to make sure it’s still OK when you go in for your regular check-ups.