The shocking case of Australian Christina Johnson has highlighted that the quality of a mouth guard can be just as important as having a mouth guard in the first place. In short, not just any old model will do. Christina bought an over-the-counter mouthguard but still sustained serious injuries to her mouth when playing hockey. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) have since stressed the importance of wearing fitted mouthguards. The chair of the ADA likened mouthguards to any other piece of sports equipment and so something definitely worth investing in.
The benefits of custom-made mouthguards extend beyond just the safety aspect. Some shy away from using mouthguards because they see them as a clumsy accessory and don’t find them aesthetically appealing. One benefit of going custom-made is having the opportunity to pick the perfect colour and pattern, so increasing the enthusiasm for wearing the guard!
What Christina’s case has highlighted is just how seriously the mouth can be damaged when playing sport. So what do you need to look out for? You need to objectively assess how likely it is that your mouth could be hit. Is your head an intentional target in the game? If there is a risk, then is wearing a mouthguard worth it? Even if you don’t like the look of it, would you regret not wearing one if you did sustain damage?
Custom made mouthguards allow the wearer to feel secure that they are wearing a guard which is specially fitted for them and gives the optimum protection of their mouth. While there are no guarantees, wearing one is a way you can ensure that your risk of dental trauma is kept as low as possible.