Orange Family Dental

The Wellness House
55-57 Bathurst Rd
Orange NSW 2800

02 6362 1100

Mouthguards

skulls2Every year thousands of people are treated for dental injuries, which could have been prevented, or the severity minimised, by wearing a protective mouthguard.

Why do you need a mouthguard?
A mouthguard helps absorb the shock experienced by a blow to the face, which might otherwise result in an injury to the mouth or jaw. A heavy collision can result in chipped or broken teeth, internal damage to a tooth, tooth loss, injuries to the soft tissue of the mouth, and, in severe cases, concussion or a broken jaw. Injuries like these can lead to long and potentially expensive treatment to restore teeth and the mouth back to normal function and appearance.

When should I wear a mouthguard?
Anyone who participates in a sport that carries a risk of contact to the face should wear a mouthguard. This includes obvious sports such as football, boxing and rugby, and also collision sports where unexpected contact often happens. These include basketball, hockey, water polo, lacrosse, netball, baseball, softball, squash, soccer, BMX bike riding, horse riding, skateboarding, in-line skating, trampolining, cricket (wicket keeping or batting without a helmet), water skiing and snow ski racing.

Types of Mouthguards
There are many types of mouthguards, from over-the-counter products to the professionally-fitted custom guard. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends that self-fitted, over-the-counter mouthguards are inadequate and, for effective protection, a professionally-fitted custom mouthguard is essential. The lifetime cost of a dental injury justifies the expense of good protection to prevent the injury in the first place.

Custom-fitted Mouthguards
A custom-fitted mouthguard is made by a dentist using an impression taken of your teeth and a plaster model. Custom fitting allows the dentist to accurately assess your mouth and provide the best fit, size, coverage and thickness in a mouthguard made especially for you.

The dentist can also make an assessment of any risk factors you might have and recommend the best type of mouthguard appropriate for your sport. Custom-fitted mouthguards are comfortable, allow you to talk, have maximum resistance against being dislodged and should not restrict breathing.

Over-the-counter mouthguards
These mouthguards are cheaper than custom-fitted mouthguards. These include stock mouthguards that have no fitting at all, and boil and bite mouthguards that are self fitted by softening them in hot water, inserting them in the mouth and allowing them to adapt to the shape of the mouth as they cool and set. The ADA and Standards Australia do not recommend over the counter boil and bite mouthguards. They are poorly fitting and less comfortable to wear because they have not been specifically fitted to the shape of your mouth and teeth. This greatly lessens their effectiveness and can increase the risk of damage to teeth.

Other Mouthguard Tips:
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends that
• Only a professionally custom-fitted mouthguard should be worn.
• Check your mouthguard every 12 months for optimal fit and protection.
• Keep your mouthguard clean and store it in a rigid container, away from heat to ensure it maintains its shape.
Source: Australian Dental Association

**If you have private health insurance, check with your provider as they may cover some or all of the cost of a custom-fitted mouthguard.