Helmets, goggles, and knee pads are no-brainers when it comes to sports and contact athletics.
But when we talk to our patients about mouth guards they often seem surprised and ask if mouth guards are really necessary.
The answer is yes, mouth guards are necessary. Without a mouth guard, teeth, jaw, and soft-tissue are at risk of injury and teeth can easily be lost.
At Thornton Dental we recommend custom designed mouth guards for all our athletic patients. Let’s take a look at how helpful mouth guards can be.
- It is estimated that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year.
- An athlete is sixty times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if not wearing a mouth guard.
- Athletes who use generic mouth guards are twice as likely to suffer a concussion than those who wear custom built mouth guards.
What can mouth guards do?
- Mouth guards prevent bruising and cuts during impact.
- Mouth guards prevent tooth dislocations or fractures by cushioning the teeth.
- Opposing teeth are shielded from contact with each other.
- The lower jaw is protected, so impact does not damage or fracture the bone.
- Mouth guards can reduce injury to the brain. Mouth guards blunt the force of impacts that hit the mouth and can cause the jaws to violently clash, which can result in a concussion.
- Mouth guards can also protect against some neck injuries.
- Mouth guards help athletes feel more comfortable and protected.
The perfect mouth guard:
- Allows speaking and does not impair breathing.
- Stays firmly in place during training, practice, and games.
- Provides optimal comfort and fit.
- Is durable and easy to clean.
- Is tear-resistant, resilient, odourless, and tasteless.
Usually, mouth guards cover the upper teeth. However, dentists may suggest that athletes with a protruding jaw or those who wear braces or other dental appliances on their lower jaw wear a mouth guard on their lower teeth as well.
What are my mouth guard options?
There are three types of mouth guards:
Stock mouth protectors are sold over the counter and ready to wear. They are inexpensive and available at most sporting goods stores and department stores. However, their fit is not adjustable, they are clumsy, they make breathing and talking difficult, and worst they provide very little protection. In fact, in some instances, they can cause damage.
Boil and bite mouth protectors are also available at sporting goods stores and they offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The “boil and bite” mouth guard is constructed from a thermoplastic material that is dunked in hot water for softening, then placed into the mouth and shaped around the teeth using pressure. This process, however, can lead to “bite through” of the generally thin material “boil and bite” mouth guards are comprised of.
Custom-fitted mouth guards are designed for each patient and manufactured based on your dentist’s instructions. Your dentist makes an impression of your teeth using a mould, and a mouth guard is then manufactured from that model. Because a custom mouth guard is composed of custom material and because of the time and work involved, custom-made mouth guards are more expensive, but they provide the most comfort and protection by a substantial margin.
Typically, mouth guards protect your upper teeth, but in some instances, sometimes depending on other protective gear, your dentist will recommend a mouth guard for lower teeth as well.
Taking care of your mouth guard
Wash your mouth guard in cool soapy water and rinse well before and after using. Don’t chew on your mouth guard or keep removable retainers in your mouth with the guard in place.
Finally, replace your mouth guard if it shows signs of age.
Come to Thornton Dental for your mouth guard
At Thornton Dental our custom-made mouth guards provide maximum protection and perfect fit. If you have a child, you most likely need to get a new mouth guard each year as children’s jaws grow quickly.
Finally, a custom-fitted mouth guard is a bargain compared to the dental care it can ward off. The cost of replacing a knocked-out tooth can be 20-40 times more expensive than the cost of a custom-made mouth guard. A mouth guard is an investment in dental and economic health!
So, call now to schedule an appointment to get your custom-made athletic mouth guard at Thornton Dental.
Why Choose Thornton Dental?
Our mission is to make dentistry affordable, without sacrificing quality of care.
- We focus on patient care
- Exceptional infection control
- Friendly, approachable and experienced team
- Child-friendly and relaxing environment
- Patient comfort, safety and satisfaction are our primary goals
- Customised care tailored to your specific needs
- Integrity, high standards, premium quality materials
- Anxiety control and pain management
Thornton Dental serves the community of Thornton, Beresfield, Tarro, Woodberry, East Maitland, Chisholm, Raymond Terrace, Green Hills, Metford, Ashtonfield, Tenambit, Morpeth, Lorn, Bolwarra Heights, and surrounding areas of Maitland.