The Importance of Mouthguards for Athletes
Mouthguards are a crucial piece of protective gear that athletes should prioritize when engaging in sports. A mouthguard is a dental appliance that fits over the teeth, gums, and jaws to protect the mouth from impact during athletic activities.
In this blog, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about mouthguards and why athletes should make wearing one a top priority.
Types of mouthguards
There are three types of mouthguards available:
- Custom-made mouthguards
- Boil and bite mouthguards
- Stock mouthguards
Which type of mouthguard is best for athletes?
The best type of mouthguard for athletes depends on various factors, such as their level of competition, the sport they play, and their personal preferences. Here are some general guidelines:
These are the most expensive, but they also provide the best fit and protection. A dentist or a dental laboratory makes them from a mold of the athlete’s teeth. Custom-made mouthguards offer the most comfort and protection, making them ideal for professional athletes or those participating in high-impact sports.
Boil and bite mouthguards:
These are less expensive than custom-made mouthguards and can be found in most sporting goods stores. They can be boiled to soften and then shaped to fit the athlete’s teeth. Boil and bite mouthguards provide better protection than stock mouthguards.
These are the least expensive and are ready to wear right away. They do, however, offer the least protection and are not recommended for high-impact sports. Stock mouthguards are best suited for athletes who engage in low-impact sports or activities.
The best type of mouthguard is one that fits comfortably and securely, does not interfere with breathing or communication, and provides adequate protection for the athlete’s sport and level of competition. Athletes should consult with their dentist or athletic trainer to determine the best mouthguard for their needs.
Benefits of wearing mouthguards
- Protection against dental injuries: Mouthguards protect teeth, gums, and jaws from trauma and impact during sports activities.
- Prevention of concussions: Mouthguards can help absorb shock and reduce the risk of concussions during contact sports.
- Improved performance: Mouthguards help athletes to breathe easier and reduce muscle tension, leading to improved athletic performance.
- Hygiene benefits: Mouthguards can prevent the transmission of diseases between athletes by acting as a barrier between the mouth and the environment.
- Improved breathing: Mouthguards can help keep the airway open during exertion.
- Reduced risk of soft tissue injuries such as cuts to the lips or tongue.
- Reduced risk of TMJ disorders: Mouthguards can help prevent clenching and grinding.
Risks of not wearing mouthguards
- Dental injuries: Without a mouthguard, athletes are at risk of chipping, cracking, or losing teeth during sports activities.
- Financial implications: Dental injuries can be costly to repair, and without proper dental insurance, the cost can be overwhelming.
- Psychological effects of dental injuries, such as decreased confidence or avoidance of social situations.
- Missed playing time due to dental injuries or concussions.
- Long-term consequences of dental injuries, like the need for extensive dental work or the risk of developing periodontal disease.
How to choose the right mouthguard?
Choosing the right mouthguard is important for maximum protection and comfort during sports activities. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a mouthguard:
Level of Protection:
The first thing to consider when choosing a mouthguard is the level of protection needed for the sport or activity. High-impact sports like football and hockey require more protection than low-impact sports like tennis or gymnastics.
A comfortable mouthguard is more likely to be worn consistently. A mouthguard that is too loose or too tight can be uncomfortable and can affect breathing and speaking. Custom-made mouthguards offer the most comfort, as they are designed to fit the athlete’s teeth precisely. Boil-and-bite mouthguards can also provide a comfortable fit if properly molded to the teeth.
Age and Size:
Younger athletes may require smaller mouthguards than adults. Some mouthguards are designed specifically for children and teenagers, so it’s important to choose the right size and shape for the athlete’s mouth.
Mouthguards can be made from a variety of materials, including rubber, silicone, and plastic. Each material has pros and cons, like how long it lasts, how easy it is to clean, and how comfortable it is.
Proper care and maintenance of the mouthguard are crucial to ensuring its longevity and effectiveness. Consider how easy it is to clean and store the mouthguard when choosing the right one for you.
The cost of a mouthguard can vary widely depending on its type and quality. Custom-made mouthguards are typically the most expensive, while stock mouthguards are the least expensive.
Overall, the best way to choose the right mouthguard is to consult with a dentist or athletic trainer who can evaluate the athlete’s needs and recommend the appropriate type of mouthguard.
Every Smile Chandler For Your Mouthguard Needs
Athletes should choose the right mouthguard for their needs and take proper care of it to maintain its effectiveness. With the proper use of a mouthguard, athletes can protect themselves from dental injuries, prevent concussions, and improve their athletic performance.
Schedule an appointment with us today at Every Smile if you’re from Chandler and want to know more about your mouthguard options and choose the right one for you.