Picking Your Mouthguard for Contact Sports

Dentist Blog

Martial arts are a fantastic way to get fit and healthy. However many injuries occur because people fail to wear the correct safety gear, which can lead to prolonged periods where training is difficult or even impossible. Taking care of yourself should be the number one priority of any young fighter and investing in a quality mouthguard will reduce the risk of injury to your teeth and gums. There are many different companies that produce mouthguards; some are customised to fit your mouth, some are covered in crazy designs and some are just unsuitable for use. 

When Do I need a Mouthguard?

Mouthguards are required for contact sports when the risk of impact to the head is high. All contact sports such as judo, kickboxing, American football and rugby require a mouthguard, as well as many other sports where even trauma to the mouth can cause the head to snap back. 

What Type Should I Get?

Always go for the best mouthguard you can afford and preferably one that has been approved by the Australian Dental Association. The two most popular choices are custom fit mouthguards and boil and bite guards. The ADA recommends custom fit guards as they are precisely moulded to fit your teeth and gums with minimal movement. These types of mouthguard, whilst expensive are far superior and worth the investment if you plan on using them frequently. They are often made by dental professionals who get you to bite down hard on a special type of dental putty, this is then used to make a mould which can be coloured to suit your style. These mouthguards usually take a week or so to make because they have to be personally constructed. These are highly recommended for boxing and kickboxing in which trauma to the teeth, gums and jaw is expected.

The second type of mouthguard is much cheaper and can be purchased from any good sports shop. However even if you have a custom fit guard it's always a good idea to keep one of these handy for emergencies. Retailing at approximately $15-$20 they are a cheap but worthwhile investment. Boil and bites are still moulded to your own mouth but they are not as durable and can often slip out of place. To make them you must place them in freshly boiled water for a few minutes before cooling them under the tap for a couple of seconds. Then you place them in your mouth and use suction to vacuum pack them into your gums and teeth. After a minute or so you cool them off and they are ready to go. 


12 July 2016

Teeth And Tears: Dental Dramas Of A School Nurse

I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.