One of the easiest ways to prevent damage to our mouth and face during sports is to wear a sports mouthguard.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and the answers about mouthguards.
- What are the different types of mouthguards and which one should I get?
- What sports should I wear a mouthguard during?
- Does it really matter if I don’t wear a mouthguard? What’s the worst that could happen- a chipped tooth?
- Do I need to get a new mouthguard for my child every time they lose a baby tooth?
- Can people with braces wear a mouthguard?
- How do I look after my mouthguard?
- Will my private health cover pay for a mouthguard?
- Can I use my mouthguard at night to protect my teeth from clenching and grinding?
For all the answers, follow the link below!
What are the different types of mouthguards, and which one should I get?
There are 2 basic types of mouthguards that are available for protection during sports. Customised mouthguards are made at the dental surgery. A quick impression of the mouth is taken and using this, we can fabricate a mouthguard in almost any colour combination that will fit perfectly.
Pharmacy Mouthguards or “Boil and Bite” mouthguards are available from most chemists and are a less expensive option than a customised mouthguard. These are a great option if you can’t get to the dentist, however they aren’t ever as thick or snug as a professional guard, so they don’t offer as much protection.
What sports should I wear a mouthguard during?
We suggest wearing a mouthguard during contact sports such as AFL, Rugby, Martial Arts, Water Polo, Soccer and during any fast-paced sports such as netball and cricket.
Does it really matter if I don’t wear a mouthguard? What’s the worst that could happen- a chipped tooth?
A mouthguard will absorb impact during a knock or fall and will protect your teeth from moderate impact.
It will also protect the jawbone during impact; a broken facial bone is a horrible injury and something we want you to avoid.
The lips, gums and tongue are all protected when a mouthguard is worn also. Without a mouthguard, broken teeth can lacerate gums, lips, tongues and even chin.
Do I need to get a new mouthguard for my child every time they lose a baby tooth?
When we customise a mouthguard, we are able to allow for future teeth loss and eruption, meaning that it should last about 2 years. We are also able to adjust the guards we fabricate.
Can people with braces wear a mouthguard?
The treating orthodontist will be able to fabricate a mouthguard to protect their handiwork.
Here at Grandis Dental, we don’t construct mouthguards for patients that have braces. Our guards fit very snugly, and we don’t like to place any pressure on teeth that an orthodontist might not approve.
If you are currently under the care of an orthodontist, ask them to organise a mouthguard. They will be glad you are protecting yourself.
How do I look after my mouthguard?
Rinse well after use under cold water, lightly brushing all surfaces with a toothbrush. If you like, you can use a small quantity of hand soap.
Avoid using toothpaste- this is too abrasive for the material and will allow bacteria to burrow into the surface.
Soak in a denture cleaning tablet overnight, once a week. These are available at supermarkets and chemists.
Avoid exposure to heat. Do not leave your mouthguard in your car or on your windowsill. This will lead to the material warping.
Keep out of reach of pets. The smell and taste of human saliva seems to be irresistible to our furry friends so make sure your guard is safe from nosy pets.
Will my private health cover pay for a mouthguard?
If you are in doubt, pop in to see us here at Grandis Dental, we can do an instant quote online with your health fund, so you’ll know if you’re covered immediately.
Can I use my mouthguard at night to protect my teeth from clenching and grinding?
The material used to make a sports mouthguard is very firm but allows for some slight malleability when bitten down on.
The material used to make a splint or a “nightguard” is made from very rigid material.
Our Hygienist Melissa explains that a mouthguard is like the tyres on your car- rubbery and can accept bumps. A splint is the equivalent to a brake pad on your car- much harder and able to accept compressed pressure.
We also find that patients that use a mouthguard as a night splint tend to increase their clenching or grinding- the rubbery feel of the material sometimes tricks people into subconsciously chewing in their sleep, just like having chewing gum in their mouth. Prolonged periods of chewing and clenching can lead to overdeveloped facial and chewing muscles and arthritis of the jaw joint.
For this reason, we suggest having a custom-made splint made to wear during sleep.
We hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.