The Importance of Mouthguards
Wearing a mouthguard is an important precaution for athletes of all ages and abilities, helping to protect against chipped or broken teeth, root and bone damage, and tooth loss. They also safeguard against serious injuries such as jaw fracture, cerebral hemorrhage, concussion and neck injuries by helping to avoid situations where the lower jaw jams into the upper jaw. By keeping soft tissue in the mouth away from the teeth, mouth guards help prevent cutting and bruising of the lips, tongue and cheeks, especially for athletes who wear orthodontic appliances.
A properly fitted sports mouthguard must be:
- tear resistant
- have excellent retention and fit
- cause minimal interference to speaking and breathing
Types of Mouthguards
Stock mouthguards come pre-formed and ready to wear. Although they’re the least expensive, they are also the worst fitting and least comfortable or protective. These pre-formed guards can be bulky, increase the tendency to gag, and make breathing and talking difficult because they require the jaw to be closed to hold them in place.
Mouth-formed mouthguards can be either a shell liner or a boil-and-bite kind. The first type is lined with acrylic gel or rubber that molds to the teeth and sets to keep its shape. The second type, made of thermoplastic, is placed in boiling water, then formed and molded to the contours of the teeth using the fingers, lips, tongue and biting pressure. While they do provide a better fit than stock mouthguards, they can be bulky and do not offer the same fit and protection as a custom-fitted mouthguard.
Custom-fitted mouthguards provide the greatest degree of fit, comfort and protection because they are made from a cast to precisely fit your teeth. At Winston Churchill Dental, we will make an impression of your teeth and use it as a mold to create a custom-fitted mouthguard.
Advantages of a Custom Mouthguard
- Comfortably stays in position
- Better breathing = better performance
- More durable than boil and bite
- May prevent concussions from occurring
- Speak clearly
Dr. Kate Bazydlo and her staff at Winston Churchill Dental can provide you with more information on the value of Custom Mouthguards and answer any questions you may have.
Protect your teeth with a free mouthguard!