Each and every year, many athletes (adults and children) are treated for dental injuries that could have been avoided, prevented or minimised by simply wearing a mouthguard.
As a dental clinic that is experienced in dealing with dental trauma from sport injuries we strongly recommend the use of a "custom fitted mouthguard" over a "boil & bite mouthguard" in any sport or activity where collision (intended or accidental) is likely. This is relevant for both games and training.
Often injuries in sports or activities that do occur are those we didn’t even consider to be a danger. It’s always best to ‘play it safe’ and wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
Who Needs a Mouthguard?
Anyone who plays a sport or undertakes an activity where collision or contact to the face is a legitimate risk should wear a mouthguard. Whilst combat sports are obvious, other sports such as rugby union and league, american football, hockey and boxing are ‘no brainers’ because of intentional collision and contact are very much a part of the game.
However, it is sports where accidental collision occurs that are often most responsible for dental trauma, such as football, cricket, basketball, netball, shinty and hurling. Whilst these sports are considered ‘non-contact’ they also carry the risk of accidental collision. Over the years we have seen thousands of patients (adults and children) who we've treated for dental trauma. You are at just as much risk during training as you are during the game!
Sporting Heroes :
We have fantastic role models who wear dentally fitted mouthguards to protect teeth . As an Official Partner with Glasgow Warriors we have made the whole squad new mouthguards, professional players needs new ones every season to ensure they are 100% effective.
Kieron Achara, one of Scotland's greatest ever basketball players has worn a mouthguard for several years and with his positive lead we have now made mouthguards for the whole Glasgow Rocks roster. The first team in the British Basketball League to wear mouthguards, this gives protection against accidental facial contact, and in a sport that's meant to be non-contact!!
Dental trauma from sporting injury can include damage to the tooth nerve, fractured, cracked or knocked-out teeth, a broken jaw, damage to the tongue and burst/cut lips. It is not uncommon that a single case of dental trauma can lead to a lifetime of dental treatment. This is necessary in order to maintain the strength and health of the damaged tooth/teeth. A damaged tooth will often become a lifelong problem as repair work does not last forever. Hence our mantra is "Prevention is always better than the cure", so "play it safe and wear a mouthguard”.
The Custom-Fitted Mouthguard – What can I Expect
If you're interested in discussing a custom-fitted mouthguard, then what would we do?
First of all your Park Practice dentist will take an impression and create a plaster model of your teeth. The model will be used to accurately assess your mouth and design a uniquely fitted mouthguard. Once fitted we will provide guidance and advice on how you should care for the mouthguard properly.
If it is damaged during collision or contact a custom-fitted mouthguard may need to be replaced if the quality of the fit has been affected. If you have new teeth since your mouthguard was first fitted, then again it may need replaced. For these reasons we always ask you to make sure you have your mouthguard when attending regular check-ups for us to assess.