In the UK, it is estimated that 25% of children will injure or lose a front tooth, so investing in a good protective sports mouthguard is essential in preventing this, as well as saving the cost and distress of having to deal with those injuries.
Custom made mouthguard vs shop bought
You can purchase ‘boil and bite’ and plastic mouthguards in sports shops and these are cheaper than their orthodontic counterparts, but more importantly, they are fairly useless at protecting teeth from any hard blows. This is because they are one-size-fits-all instead of being a perfect fit for your child’s teeth which presents problems. They are often too thin to provide adequate protection.
- Shop-bought mouthguards are made from pliable plastic and are therefore more susceptible to changing shape. This leaves gaps between the mouthguard and where your teeth sit underneath it, negating the protective quality. An effective mouthguard must be a perfect tight fit for teeth at all times.
- Clenching and grinding may cause your child to actually bite through a plastic mouthguard. Even mild damage to a mouthguard will dramatically reduce its ability to protect teeth. It is likely that your child will grind, clench and gnash their teeth together without realising, so a shop-bought mouthguard is more likely to become damaged than if an adult were wearing one.
- As shop-bought mouthguard are not a perfect fit for an individual’s teeth, they induce a gag reflex which can be very uncomfortable. Custom made versions may cause this for the first few uses but will quickly disappear.
How are they made?
You and your child will be invited to attend an appointment with us where we will outline the simple process. Following this, we will take a digital scan of your child’s teeth, so that their mouthguard is an exact fit for their tooth structure. The scans will be sent to the dental lab where the mouthguard is made. There are different grades of mouthguard, and generally a “medium” grade one is suitable for most sports such as rugby – this has 2 layers of protective silicone over the whole teeth. When the sport involves a stick or heavy ball it is more advisable to have a “heavy” or “heavy pro” mouthguard as this offers superior protection – there is an additional layer of silicone to protect teeth front teeth.
We will assess which type of mouthguard will be best for your child at their appointment.
Other seasonal sports where a mouthguard could be necessary:
- Hockey or Lacross
- Martial arts or boxing
If you would like to arrange an appointment to discuss having a mouthguard made for your child, please do not hesitate to contact us.