Why Do You Wear A Mouthguard?

While you might think mouthguards are only for athletes who play high contact sports like football, rugby or MMA, athletes who participate in non-contact sports can still benefit from wearing a mouthguard. So, why do you need to wear a mouthguard? Simply put, to protect your teeth. 

You shouldn't have to dread wearing something that protects you. You deserve the best of both worlds: being protected while also being comfortable.  Investing in preventative dentistry, will save you time, money and pain in the long run. 

Dental injuries in sports are a lot more common than you may think. According to the Australian Dental Association NSW, sports related injuries account for nearly 40% of dental injuries. Without a mouthguard athletes can put themselves at risk for chipped or broken teeth, fractured crowns or bridgework, lip and cheek injuries, root damage to the teeth. 

Studies demonstrate that basketball has one of the highest rates of dental injuries for both male and female players. This is largely attributed to hand and elbow contact, collisions and the speed of the game. It is also reported that fewer than 50% of basketball players wear a mouthguard, as they believe it inhibits their ability to communicate clearly on the court.

Types of Mouthguards

To ensure the best protection, it's important to have a mouthguard that fits and is comfortable. There are four different types of mouthguards: preformed stock guards, "boil and bite" guards, custom fit mouthguards from the dentist and custom fit mouthguards that don't require impressions from the dentist.

Here are some things to consider when choosing your guard.

 
Stock Mouthguards

PRO:

  • Can be conveniently purchased from sporting goods store or pharmacy
  • Inexpensive ($5-10)
  • Fitting generally not required

CON:

  • Only available in limited sizes
  • Inhibits speech and breathing
  • Requires jaw to be closed to hold it in place
  • Lack of athlete compliance (due to discomfort)
  • Prone to being chewed on
  • Not recommended by the Australian Dental Association (ADA)

 

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Boil and Bite Mouthguards

PRO:

  • Can be conveniently purchased from sporting goods store 
  • Easy to fit
  • Relatively inexpensive ($15-40)

CON:

  • Bulky and uncomfortable design inhibits speech and breathing
  • Loosely fitted
  • Prone to being chewed on (rendering it completely useless) 
  • Lack of athlete compliance (due to discomfort)
  • Not recommended by the Australian Dental Association (ADA)

 

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Dental Custom Fit Mouthguards

PRO:

  • Individualised fit provides better protection
  • Ability to talk and breathe
  • Thin and comfortable - players are more likely to wear it
  • Custom colour options

CON:

  • Expensive ($100-300)
  • Generally requires impressions from the dentist 
  • Takes time to manufacture in a lab
  • Dental warranty is clinic/lab specific

 

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SISU Mouthguards - Custom Fit At Home

PRO:

  • Inexpensive ($45-$55)
  • Instant custom fit - no impressions needed
  • Perforated design provide better protection than boil and bite
  • Crumple zones disperse impact away from the teeth
  • Perforations allow for natural flow of air and saliva (talk, breathe, drink)
  • Thin and comfortable design (1.6mm or 2.4mm)
  • Remouldable by placing it back in hot water
  • Up to $50,000 dental warranty on all SISU guards

CON:

  • Non-conventional design may be a new unknown concept to first time users
  • Only up to 16 colours that can not be customised
  • Athletes with braces must have their guard fitted by an orthodontist