A mouthguard is a shield worn over the teeth to protect an athlete from injury while engaging in sporting events. Mouthguards are usually made of materials such as polyurethane or various thermoplastics. The American Dental Association recommends wearing a mouthguard during any sport or activity where impact, collision, or another contact may occur, including in both practice and competition.
Why Use A Mouthguard?
Dental injuries are the most common orofacial damage experienced in sporting events. Athletes are estimated to be around sixty times as likely to sustain dental damage during sports when not wearing a mouthguard. Injuries can include luxation (displaced or crooked tooth), fracture, or even avulsion (a tooth knocked completely loose). A properly fitted guard can easily minimize the occurrence of these injuries and may even reduce the rate of concussions.
There are three main types of mouthguards: ready-made, mouth formed, and custom-made. The ready-made mouthguard is the least expensive and is sold at most sporting goods stores. However, they are also often poorly fitted and can restrict speech due to their bulkiness. The mouth formed mouthguard is also widely available; it is sometimes referred to as the “boil-and-bite” mouthguard, although not all brands or types require boiling as part of the fitting.
This mouthguard includes a soft material (or material softened by heat) which an athlete bites and then allow to dry, creating a guard fitted to a specific person’s dentition. This personalized fit makes the mouth formed mouthguard more comfortable than the ready-made mouthguard. However, because individual mouths vary, the standard size may not fit everyone.
Our custom-made mouthguards are the most effective of the three types. Using your dental imprint, we craft a mouthguard fitted to your specific mouth size, dental pattern, and bite, creating the most comfortable fit possible.
Furthermore, this customized fit does not inhibit breathing or speech. Because we test the fit of your mouthguard and trim it accordingly, we can also modify it as needed. This type of mouthguard is also more practical for individuals with braces or other dental hardware since it can accommodate the shape of the hardware, unlike the standard curve of other mouthguards.
To make a custom mouthguard, we first take an imprint of your teeth, which is then used to create a model of your teeth and gums. Your mouthguard is built around this model using durable, resilient materials. When you return to try out your new mouthguard, we can assess the fit with your bite as well as how comfortable you are when wearing it and trim it accordingly. While cost may be a concern to some, the long-term benefits are undeniable. Ultimately, a better fit means better protection.
Our staff is happy to answer any questions you may have about the benefits and process of creating custom mouthguards and would be delighted to help you stay safe while doing what you love. Call us today at Northstar Dental at (303) 481-3901 today to ask how we can develop a perfectly fitted mouthguard for your sporting activities.