What is a mouth guard?
Thousands of people of all ages experience facial and dental injuries each year. Injuries to the face can harm the teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue. A properly fitted mouth guard, or mouth protector, is an important piece of gear for the athlete or thrill seeker to protect their teeth and smile. You may have seen them used in sports such as football, boxing, and basketball. Mouth guards help protect teeth even in non contact sports, such as gymnastics. Many experts recommend that a mouth guard be worn for any recreational activity that poses a risk of injury to the mouth. Mouth guards provide protection against facial sporting injuries and play an important role as they contribute significantly to safety in sports. Surveys show that the most eager, most dedicated custom mouth guard wearers are people who have already had sporting accidents. Obviously, they have learned from their mistakes.
Why should I get a mouth guard?
Here are some important facts about custom mouth guards that may encourage you to think twice before playing without one:
- Statistics indicate that custom mouth guards prevent most potential oral/dental injuries.
- Custom mouth guards have been proven to offer as much as 100 percent more protection than off-the-shelf products.
- Custom mouth guards can be produced for children as young as 7 years of age.
- Custom mouth guards can also be worn over dentures.
- Custom mouth guards are for every sports enthusiast, regardless of activity.
- While the expense of a custom mouth guard may be a concern, costs are relative.
- Tooth replacement and maintenance commonly costs much more than the cost of custom fitting mouth guard for dental and oral protection.
What does a mouth guard do?
A mouth guard basically acts as a shock absorber for the teeth and jaw. The capacity of a mouth guard to lessen impact injury depends on the interaction of the mouth guard material and its design. In general, mouth guards serve to both ‘absorb’ the impact energy and spread it over a larger surface area to reduce tooth injuries or jaw fractures. For a mouth guard to properly protect your teeth it must be custom made and fitted. A mouth guard should be comfortable to wear, have good retention and fit, and cause minimal interference of speech and breathing.
Should I get a commercial or custom made mouth guard?
There are currently mouth guards which are commercially available. It is recommended to choose the custom made mouth guard as it provides better protection, fits better and is more comfortable to wear. Mouth guards hold top priority as sports equipment and custom made mouth guards are especially made for the athlete’s teeth. A properly fitter mouth guard will protect the athlete from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head. The mouth guard protects not just the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, and tongue. A custom-fitted mouth guard provides the exact fit and is more tear resistant, provide superior shock absorption and protection of the gums, stays in place comfortably and allows normal breathing and speech. Increasingly, organised sports are requiring mouth guards to prevent injury to their athletes. Research shows that most oral injuries occur when athletes are not wearing mouth protection.