The Australian Dental Association highly recommends that both adults & children wear a customised mouthguard during either high-impact or non-contact sports where there is a risk of accidental collision.
There are many over-the-counter mouthguards available at pharmacies and supermarkets. Also known as boil and bite mouthguards, they offer a promise of protecting your teeth; however, there is very little evidence to show they offer adequate protection. Alternatively, a custom-fit mouthguard created by your dentist is the only way to ensure significant protection against direct impact and injury playing sport or during physical activities.
Potential damage caused without a mouthguard
Dental trauma from impact injuries to the jaw and teeth can be devastating, and can include damaging the tooth nerve, chipping or fracturing a tooth, dislodging a tooth, damaging or dislocating a jaw and cutting inner cheeks, lips or tongue. And if a tooth is badly damaged or dislodged, it may not be possible to replace.
What does a mouthguard do?
When a mouthguard is custom fit by your dentist, it is specially moulded and designed for that contours of your teeth and mouth. It is strong, resilient, balances your bite and allows you to breathe and speak normally. And by being more comfortable to wear, it’s also more likely that the athlete will always use the mouthguard. More importantly, a custom sports mouthguard offers significant protection against impact, which boil and bite mouthguard cannot do.
Wearing a custom mouthguard is imperative with high-impact sports such as:
- Martial arts
A mouthguard is highly recommended in activities with a risk of ‘accidental collision’:
- Touch football
How do I get a custom sports mouthguard?
Organising a custom mouthguard is easy, and happens in three simple steps.
- Visit your dentist/OHT – they will assess your teeth and jaw, discuss your sporting activity and decide on the best strength mouthguard for you
- Take an impression – the dentist/OHT will take an impression of your teeth so they can customise a perfectly fitting mouthguard in the next few of days
- Pick up your mouthguard – simply return to the dental clinic to pick up your mouthguard. No appointment required.
How much is a sports mouthguard?
The cost of a custom sports mouthguard varies depending on the strength of the mouth guard and starts from approximately $120. Also, if you have private health insurance, you may get a rebate or even discover that your insurance fund completely covers the cost of your mouthguard.
Mandatory mouthguard policy for sporting clubs
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) and Sports Medicine Australia have joined to endorse a mandatory mouthguard policy for any Australian sporting club. If you would like your club to have mandatory mouthguard, you can download a form here>