The use of mouthguards in sport

Prevention of dental trauma and other sporting injuries has become an even more important issue due to an increased popularity of contact and non-contact sports combined with children participating in sports at a young age. Dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during the participation in sports. One of the most cost-effective ways of protecting the teeth is to wear a custom-fitted mouthguard.

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What type of mouthguard is best?

The best mouthguard for your child is the one he or she actually wears, both at practice and on game day. There are several different types of mouthguards on the market, which generally fall into three categories.

An ‘off-the-shelf’ mouthguard

An ‘off-the-shelf’ mouthguard. Available at many sporting goods stores, this type comes in a limited range of sizes, and varies widely in quality. The least expensive option, it offers a minimal level of protection that’s probably better than nothing. It generally must be clenched in the mouth, which can make wearing it uncomfortable and cause trouble breathing and speaking.

The ‘boil and bite’ mouthguard

The ‘boil and bite’ mouthguard. These are designed to be immersed in hot water and then formed in the mouth using finger, tongue and bite pressure. When they can be made to fit adequately, they generally offer better protection than the first type — but they may still be uncomfortable and usually fail to offer full coverage of the teeth.

A custom-made mouthguard

A custom-made mouthguard. This is a piece of quality sports equipment that is custom fabricated for your child’s mouth. How? Moulds or impressions of your child’s teeth will be made and then tough, resilient, high-quality materials are perfectly fitted to that impression. This type of mouthguard offers your child maximum protection and a superior level of comfort — and its cost is quite reasonable.