What are mouthguards?
A mouthguard is a dental device that’s specially designed to fit snugly over your teeth and gums, cushioning them and protecting them from getting damaged. It’s also known as a mouth protector. When worn, it protects your teeth and the soft tissues of your mouth, minimising the risk of broken teeth as well as injuries to your tongue, lips or jaw.
Who needs to use mouthguards and why?
Dental mouthguards offer protection to children as well as adults who do any type of physical activity that poses a risk of injury to the mouth or face. This includes contact sports such as boxing, football, basketball, hockey and karate, as well as some non-contact sports and activities such as gymnastics, skating, mountain biking and skateboarding.
Where do you get mouthguards from?
You can buy cheap, one-size-fits-all mouthguards in chemist shops across Australia (even sports stores), or you can get one professionally custom-fitted by your dentist. Custom-made ones offer a better fit and function compared to their store-bought, generic counterparts.
Why are custom-fitted mouthguards better?
A custom-fitted dental mouthguard is measured and made especially for your mouth. To make a custom-fitted mouthguard, your dentist will first take a precise impression of your mouth and teeth to create a plaster model, which is then used to make your own mouthguard.
Your dentist will also take into consideration other factors, such as the way your jaws bite together, so when the mouthguard is fabricated, it will be the perfect fit for your specific measurements. It won’t be so tight that it’s uncomfortable to wear, or so loose that it falls off. And because it fits so snugly over your teeth and gums, it also offers maximum protection – far more than a one-size-fits-all or self-fitting mouthguards that can be bought at a chemist or sports store.
A custom-fitted mouthguard cost more than a store-bought one, but dental injuries can be expensive and traumatic to treat, with life-long consequences, so it’s worth the investment.
When does a custom-fitted mouthguard need to be replaced?
Age has a lot to do with when you need to replace your mouthguard. Young children may need to get their mouthguard replaced more often, as their teeth and jaws are still growing, whereas adults may not need a replacement so often (your mouthguard will eventually deteriorate from wear and tear).
Shepherds Hill Dental Centre offers custom-fitted mouthguards. Simply call us today on 08 8278 6858 to make an appointment.