Contact sports such as hockey, rugby or boxing are great fun but also expose teeth to risk and damage. However, taking the correct precautions can minimise you or your child’s chances of suffering a tooth-related sports injury.
The answer is a custom-made mouthguard. These are made by your orthodontist here at Arden House by taking an impression of your mouth.
Mouthguards are available over-the- counter in sports stores for as little as £10 however, these will not protect your teeth from hard impact as each groove in the guard is not lined up with each of your teeth. A custom made mouthguard created by your orthodontist not only protects your teeth, but also harmful impact to your jaw. Over-the- counter mouthguards are less effective and can also be very uncomfortable and initiate your gag reflex easily because they do not fit. Many people also find they have to clench their teeth in order to make them stay in their mouths without excess movement.
So what makes your mouthguard ‘custom made’ and why is this so important? Everyone is different and has a different set of teeth – it is not one size fits all. You would never buy a pair of shoes that were too big for you and if you did, you would not walk as effectively in them as you would a pair that fitted you. The same can be said for mouthguards! The closer the mouthguard is to fitting the shape of your teeth, the more effective it will be in protecting you from damage. Your dental history is taken into account as well as the sport you are planning to partake in – for example someone is more likely to need a thicker design for boxing than for squash as the risk of contact is higher in the former.
How are you protected?
The maxilla and mandible (upper and lower jawbones), are separated by the mouthguard which minimises the risks of concussion to your skull and brain and the thickness of the mouthguard diffuses the contact to your jaw. Mouthguards disperse and absorb the vibrations instigated from a shock blow which in turn, protects the front teeth from frontal knocks. A couple of interesting facts about mouthguards from the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety…
? You are 60% more susceptible to a tooth or jaw injury if you fail to wear a mouthguard during the contact sports mentioned above. It is estimated that mouthguards prevent around 150,000 secondary school sports injuries a year.
? A third of all dental injuries are also sports-related (jaw and tooth).
Some of the other common sports injuries that also expose you to dental injuries are:
If you would like further information on custom made mouthguards and how you could benefit, please do not hesitate to talk to our friendly staff here at Arden, who will be more than happy to speak with you.