Posted by Kylee Smith - 19 May 2022
Many people are joining sports teams and gearing up for another year of hockey, rugby and other sports. If you play high-impact sports like these regularly, it’s really important to protect your teeth from chips, breaks and cracks. But is an off-the-shelf mouthguard good enough to shield your teeth from knocks, or should you opt for a custom-made version?.
Mouthguards have been around since Victorian times, and were first developed to protect boxers’ teeth. It wasn’t until the 1950s that their use became common for other sportspeople, including those who played football, basketball, rugby and hockey.
Nowadays, it’s recommended that anyone playing sports uses a mouthguard - not only for high-impact sports, but any that might involve an accidental blow to the face. A mouthguard is an essential piece of protective gear for sports players. Just think - you’d always wear a helmet to protect your head, so why wouldn’t you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth?
“Around 40% of dental injuries are related to sports,” explains Dr Jonathan. “If you wear a mouthguard, however, you’re approximately 60 times less likely to suffer from a serious dental injury. Dental implants and repairs can be very costly, so it’s worth investing in a mouthguard to save money (and pain!) in the long-run.”
Off-the-shelf mouthguards are sometimes referred to as ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards. This is because of the way they’re made - to fit the mouthguard to your teeth, you submerge it in boiling water, cool it down quickly and then bite into the guard to shape it whilst the plastic is still soft.
“Many people don’t like wearing mouthguards because they can feel uncomfortable or fit poorly. “When you buy an off-the-shelf mouthguard, it’s not tailored to the shape of your mouth so it’s likely it won’t fit quite right. And if it’s not comfortable to wear, you’re more likely to leave it at home… leaving you at risk of damage to your teeth while playing sports.”
Hobsonville Point Dental recommends getting a custom sports mouthguard made specifically for your mouth. “Not only do custom-made mouthguards fit better, they also provide superior protection, functionality and comfort,” he explains. These can be made quickly and easily by your dentist. First, impressions of your teeth will be taken, then your bespoke mouthguard will be created from these moulds.
“When a mouthguard fits your teeth perfectly, it’s much less likely to fall out during an impact, and it can distribute the force of the impact much more evenly. It will also be far more comfortable to wear as it won’t rub against your gums and lips, and will still allow you to speak easily.”
With implants costing between $5500-$7000 it’s a no-brainer. Invest a little bit of money and get a custom-made sports mouthguard to properly protect your teeth.