Unfortunately, athletes often suffer from injuries. It can possibly lead to loss of teeth and jaw damage. So what does one have to do in order to protect the jaw and ensure the safety of teeth? Sports mouth guards will make sure the teeth will get good protection from injuries during competition and training.
Sport Mouthguard Classification
All protective constructions for teeth divide into 3 major categories:
- thermoplastic or thermoforming;
Stock mouthguard production uses factory stamping in three different sizes (small, medium and large). Therefore, such guards do not adhere to the teeth as they should since each person has their own individual jaw structure.
Dentists agree that stock mouthguards are almost useless. They have a number of disadvantages. The edges of the stock mouthguards are shorter, which is why bone structures fixing the tooth are not properly protected. If you make the mouthguard edges higher, they will put excessive pressure on the gums for one athlete and not covering back teeth for another. In both cases, these mouthguards will not be able to provide the necessary protection for the jaw.
Stock mouthguard does not take into account individual characteristics of the oral cavity. Therefore, they don’t stay in place and athlete has to clench the teeth. As a result, one has to experience discomfort or even gag reflex and it is difficult to talk and breathe which affects athlete’s work efficiency and lowers athletic performance not allowing to reveal full potential.
Moreover, in this situation athlete faces a psychological factor caused by the fact that they use poor-quality gear (poor gear is associated with poor athlete).
Stock mouthguards are also produced of poor-quality materials. Therefore, they are being quickly worn out and require constant replacement.
The only advantage of such gear – they can be purchased at any sporting goods store at low prices. But can such an argument be a good reason to buy it?
Thermoplastic mouthguards are being produced at home. In this case, the workpiece is immersed into hot water, where it softens up. Then it is placed on the teeth where it becomes firm and acquires the final shape. This way makes it possible to get the right size and shape.
Compared to stock counterparts such mouthguards have a number of considerable advantages. But even they are unable fit the mouth tightly and provide necessary protection. Since the thermoplastic material is not strong enough, it begins to deform and collapse very soon.
Custom-fitted sports mouthguards are made in dental laboratories using individual teeth impressions. During the making process dentist supervises the correct interdigitation of teeth and takes into account the individual characteristics of jaws and dentition. This is why custom-fitted mouthguards perfectly match the the shape and size of the teeth, which ensures a perfect fit and eliminates the appearance of balance, effectively protects teeth from damage.
The making of protective mouthguards for the children also takes into account the child’s age and the need to provide space for growing teeth.
Custom-fitted mouthguards cover not only the teeth but also the jaw bone and the gums, replicating the entire oral cavity contour, which is unique to each person.
Protective mouthguard optimally distributes the load from shocks which helps to prevent injuries. It does not allow the situations when the lower jaw might be pushed towards the top one with extreme force. Therefore it helps to avoid jaw fractures, severe injuries, leading to loss of consciousness, the displacement of the mandibular joint, neck injury, intracerebral hemorrhage, concussions.
Custom-fitted mouthguards: advantages and disadvantages
Custom-fitted sport mouthguard made in dental clinic:
- perfectly adheres to the teeth;
- firmly fixed;
- comfortable to wear;
- combines flexibility and strength;
- makes it easy to breathe;
- does not violate the diction;
- does not cause allergic reactions;
- acts as a shock absorber;
- effectively protects teeth;
- insulates soft oral tissues;
- prevents tearing of the lips and cheeks;
- reduces the risk of maxillofacial injuries;
- prevents the risk of teeth chipping and their loss;
- prevents teeth erasure in when they are tightly closed.
The only drawback to the custom-fitted sport mouthguard is its high cost. But athletes never skimp on their gear and seek to buy only the best products.
Types of custom-fitted mouthguards
Depending on the purpose of use there are 4 types of custom-fitted mouthguards:
- light (single-layered) – designed for children and youth, as well as for the daily gym practices;
- semi-professional (dual-layered) – used in non-contact sports (cycling, skiing, skateboarding, roller skates riding);
- professional (three-layered, with a rigid tab in front section) – used in all kinds of sports, which have direct contact threat (boxing, kickboxing, taekwondo, sambo, rugby, hockey);
- premium (three-layered, rigid layer is distributed over the entire area) – suitable for all contact sports, both with direct and indirect threat.
Another kind of protective gear is a sports mouthguard for braces. They allow people with braces not to give up traumatic sports. Mouthguard tightly sticks to the brackets, protecting the teeth and soft tissues from any injury.
Who needs defensive gear?
Sports mouthguard are must-haves for those who are engaged in the following sports: MMA, boxing, Taekwondo Wushu Sanda (Sanshou), combat sambo, men’s lacrosse, roller derby, American football, ice hockey, women’s hockey on grass.
They are recommended for other traumatic sports. Protective mouthguards will be also useful for those who prefer an active lifestyle, enjoys rollerblading and ice skating and likes bodybuilding and powerlifting.
Custom-fitted mouthguards are especially necessary for children and teenagers who enjoy extreme and contact sports. The fact is that the childhood injuries pose a particular danger, as they might become the cause of various malfunctions during dental system formation period.
How to care for the sports protective mouthguards?
To make mouthguard lasts as long as possible, it is necessary to pay attention to its proper care
- prior to use and after the use the mouthguard should be washed with cool water;
use toothpaste with a brush to clean your mouthguard;
- it is also possible to clean sport mouthguard with soluble tablets for cleaning dentures;
- the mouthguard should not be exposed to direct sun lights and heat, otherwise it will be deformed;
- keep the mouthpiece in a solid container with holes for air circulation.
The advantages of our clinic
Our dental clinic produces sports mouthguards on demand. We take into account the anatomical, physiological and functional structure of the teeth, which allows not only to protect the mouth from injury, but also to improve athletic performance. While contracting, the chewing muscles tone the muscles of the whole body, which leads to better coordination and increased power of strike.
In our clinic we make custom-fitted sport mouthguards with the help of impressions of the best modern materials which optimally combine strength and flexibility, so that they do not exfoliate and retain their protective properties for a long time.
To ensure an accurate fit, we use innovative technologies which include computer modeling.