Why you should wear a mouthguard

Why wear a mouthguard?

Every year thousands of children and adults are treated for painful, costly and disfiguring dental injuries related to sporting accidents, which could have been avoided or minimised by wearing a protective custom-fitted mouthguard.

Which mouthguard should I choose?

Custom-fitted mouthguards

Custom-fitted mouthguards are made by a dentist, who takes an impression and creates a plaster model of your teeth. A dentist will also assess your mouth and provide the best fitting mouthguard for you. Custom-fitted mouthguards are comfortable, tight-fitting, allow you to speak clearly, won’t restrict breathing and provide maximum resistance from being dislodged.

Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends custom-fitted mouthguards because they provide the greatest protection and are the most comfortable to wear.

Over-the-counter (boil and bite) mouthguards

These mouthguards are significantly less effective than custom-fitted mouthguards because they are self-fitting. Some studies place their degree of protection as only slightly better than wearing no mouthguard at all. These types of mouthguards are not recommended by ADA and Standards Australia.

Over-the-counter mouthguards should only be used as a short-term solution if there is absolutely no alternative available.

How long will my mouthguard last?

The mouthguard might need to be replaced when baby teeth are lost and permanent teeth have come through or the mouthguard is damaged.  The mouthguard should be assessed by a dentist at your regular check-up to ensure it still fits correctly.

How do I take care of my mouthguard?

  • Rinse mouthguard in cold water after use (never hot as it can damage it).
  • Use products specially designed for mouthguards such as Erskine Oral Appliance Cleaning Tablets
  • Store it in rigid plastic container
  • Keep it out of direct sunlight and heat to ensure it maintains its shape
  • Replace your mouthguard if it becomes damaged

A custom-fitted mouthguard is a valuable investment when compared to the significant costs associated with repairing damaged teeth.

 

Mouthguard awareness