Statistics show that the simple use of a mouthguard during trainings and games can reduce approximately 200,000 oral-related injuries every year. Hence, sports experts highly encourage the regular use of mouthguards in all non-professional and professional sports.
What is a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a protective dental appliance that is often used by athletes to protect the structures of the oral cavity from trauma. A plastic covering is strategically placed to enclose the teeth and gums to absorb force during sudden collisions and unexpected falls.
Who Should Wear a Mouthguard?
In highly physical sports such as boxing, basketball, hockey, mixed martial arts and soccer, players need to wear protective mouthpiece because the head is constantly exposed to trauma. Even players in non-contact sports such as horseback riding and cycling wear dentist recommended sports mouthguard to lessen the risk of injury to the mouth.
Currently, dental practitioners also prescribe mouthguards to people with malocclusion, wherein upper and lower teeth are unable to lock food due to misalignment. The use of mouthguard prevents ulcer formation due to unnecessary biting of the gum when sleeping.
What are the Types of Mouthguards?
There are three different types of mouthguards that can be used based on needs, preferences and comfort desired by the patient. The best and most expensive type is the custom-fitted mouthguard, since it is personally designed to fit the structures of your mouth. It serves as a wide protective covering of your teeth, gums and tongue.
Another type is the stock mouth protector, which is readily available in different sports shops. However, dentists do not recommend this type since it may be large for the oral cavity or impede breathing and speaking.
The boil and bite mouthguard is also available in sporting goods suppliers but is more advantageous than stock mouth protectors. It is more flexible and can conform to the size and configuration of the mouth upon pressure application using finger and tongue.
Mouthguards can effectively reduce injuries, bruises and infections that may cause long-term complications in the oral cavity. It is important to consult a dentist who can prescribe the most suitable and appropriate mouthguard for you.