| 04/27/15

athletic mouthguard

Athletic mouthguards are some of the most discrete but vital pieces of equipment in the sports world. You have probably noticed mouthguards prominently used in more brutal contact sports such as boxing, football, hockey, and rugby, as athletes constantly pummel each other with fists, shoulders, elbows, and solid objects. However, in sports such as basketball, soccer, gymnastics, and even ice-skating, mild to severe dental injuries can easily occur, so a higher number of well-made mouthguards are beginning to appear.

You may have recently noticed a few famous professional basketball players popping out their mouthguards in between plays (Lebron James comes to mind!). Here are a few reasons that custom athletic mouthguard are a justified investment for almost every athlete:

Preventing a Surprisingly Wide Variety of Injuries

While the obvious use for a mouthguard is protecting your teeth, they also provide significant protection for your jaw, lips, inner cheeks, gums, tongue, and even your brain. Any purposeful or accidental contact to your unprotected jaw or lips can have gruesome outcomes.

An athlete who falls, and whose chin strikes the ice, hardwood, ground, or pavement, will immediately have his or her lower jawbone and teeth thrust forcefully upward. Any soft tissue that gets in the way of their teeth is immediately susceptible to injury.

Such accidents can lead to wounds on lips, inner cheek, and tongue, or in more extreme cases, the teeth can penetrate entirely through the aforementioned soft tissue. Furthermore, a hard enough impact to the chin can even cause mild to severe concussions. Lastly, such a jarring force can significantly damage your jawbone, jaw alignment, and the stability of your teeth.

In such situations, a custom athletic mouthguard would help prevent injury on multiple levels:

  • A custom mouthguard secures and cushions the jaw, keeping it aligned and preventing it from forcefully slamming shut, thus softening the impact to the jaw and head.
  • Mouthguards blunt the edges of teeth, greatly diminishing their ability to pierce the soft tissue of the mouth.
  • A custom mouthguard fits teeth and gums snugly, thus securing both from most damage.

Overall, in any sport where contact to the jaw or mouth is common and likely, or uncommon but severe, a mouthguard can keep you in the game, and out of the dentist’s office or hospital.

The Custom Made Advantage

While over-the-counter mouthguard options are better than nothing, custom mouthguards fitted by a dentist will always provide the best protection available. Over-the-counter mouthguards generally come in a one-size-fits-all package, and require your own untrained hand to boil water, dunk the unmolded rubber guard into said water, and then press the guard directly to your gums for a few seconds to form a haphazard and often bulky form of teeth protection. It is cheap and easy to do, but the outcome is often an uncomfortable, barely-fitting horseshoe of rubber that restricts airflow through your mouth, not ideal for an athlete.

A fully custom-made mouthguard from your dentist is the best, albeit slightly pricier option. With your dentist’s expert help, you can get a customized thermoplastic multi-layered mouthguard molded precisely to your teeth using a thermo-forming machine.

It will cover all of your teeth securely, and can even be fitted to allow room for growing teeth, or even teeth with braces. These laminated mouthguards will last for years with minimal upkeep (light brushing with toothpaste, rinsing before and after each use). Also, we can recommend the best thickness for your sport of choice, so you are given the best mouthguard available. Ask us more about our process and our pricing at your next visit!

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