At this time of year, when many winter sports are beginning their season, we often have a lot of enquiries about mouthguards.
Which sports require mouthguards? Are boil and bite mouthguards ok, or are custom made mouthguards required?
As a general rule of thumb, if a person is participating in a sport where facial contact is possible, a mouthguard should be worn. The Australian Dental Association has released a list of sports where mouthguards are recommended for training and competition. This list can be found at www.mouthguardawareness.info
Fortunately, most clubs and coaches are well aware of the importance of mouthguards and will usually enforce a "no mouthguard, no play" policy. As dentists, we fully embrace these rules. There's nothing more upsetting than seeing front teeth broken when they've just barely erupted. Injuries to the teeth and jaws are painful and costly.
As well as protecting teeth, mouthguards have other benefits. They absorb shock experienced by a blow to the face, thus helping to minimize the risk of jaw fracture, facial fracture, lacerations and sometimes concussion. While the "boil and bite" mouthguards bought in pharmacies or sporting stores are less expensive and easier, they offer nowhere near as much protection as a custom fitted guard. Generic mouthguards do not apply equal force to all teeth and soft tissues, so when there is an impact to the face, the shock is not absorbed uniformly, which often results in injury.
Many parents we meet are concerned that their children will grow out of their custom mouthguard. We find that custom guards usually last for about 1 year in growing children. If your child gets towards the end of the season and is finding the mouthguard uncomfortable, you can return to North Brisbane Dental Clinic for an adjustment at no extra cost.
The process of having a custom made mouthguard is simple and easy. Your dentist will take an impression/mould of the top teeth. This takes about 5 minutes. You then come back to the dentist 1 week later to collect your mouthguard. Most of the time, they fit easily straight away, though occasionally, they will need to be adjusted by the dentist. Either way, in 2 short visits, you have a custom mouthguard.
At North Brisbane Dental Clinic, we have a wide range of colours and patterns to choose from, adding to the fun factor!
For any further information, or to book an appointment, please call our friendly reception staff on 3632 8100 or book online by clicking the link on our home page.