Custom-fabricated mouthguards are essential for preventing athletic oral/facial injuries, such as broken teeth and jaw fractures. Mouthguards should be worn when participating in activities such as basketball, softball, football, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, in-line skating, martial arts, skateboarding and bicycling(especially mountain biking or BMX). Don’t forget the winter sports such as hockey, skiing and ice skating.
You should wear a mouthguard anytime there is a strong chance for contact with other participants or with hard surfaces. According to the National Youth Sports Foundation for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Inc., dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports-related activities.
What kind of mouthguard do I need?
There are three types of mouthguards. The stock mouthguard is the least expensive and offers the least protection. This mouthguard requires the user to close their jaw to hold it in place so it may interfere with speech and breathing. This type of device is acceptable for facial protection.
The mouth-formed mouthguard is softened in hot water, placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth by using a finger or tongue and sometimes biting pressure. This provides some degree of protection but it usually will be bulky and have a loose fit. This is the most convenient for children since they are growing and their mouth changes rapidly.
A custom-made mouthguard made by your dentist is the best choice for the best protection, fit and comfort. Since it is made from a model of your teeth it stays is place and is the least bulky of all the options.