Getting a new mouthguard – a trip to the chemist or the dentist?

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Dentist Melbourne
Melbourne's Home of Dentistry

new mouthguard

Why do I need a new mouthguard?

Whether it’s for training or game day, wearing a new mouthguard is the easiest way to help protect your teeth, jaw and brain from injury when playing sport.

What type of mouthguard should I wear?

There are two common types:

  • over-the-counter (boil and bite) mouthguard
  • professionally made, custom fitted mouthguard

A dentist-made, custom-fitted guard can not only save you from very expensive and inconvenient front tooth disfigurement, but will also greatly reduce your chances of potentially life-threatening brain injuries.

A custom-made mouthguard fits your upper teeth perfectly and is indented so your lower teeth close into it. The indenting of your lower teeth into the mouthguard greatly reduces shock to your jaw joints. This is designed to lessen the risk of brain injuries to the middle and frontal lobes of the brain.

An accurate fit and even thickness of material protects your teeth, gums, joints and jaws. A custom made mouthguard is comfortable, tight fitting, allows you to speak clearly, maximises resistance against being dislodged and won’t restrict breathing.

Over-the-counter ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards range in price from around $10 and upwards. And while their labels might have you believe otherwise, these mouthguards offer little protection and in some cases can be just as bad as not wearing a mouthguard at all.

How is a custom new mouthguard created?

Having a custom mouthguard made is simple. At an examination, your dentist will check to see if you require any dental work that may affect the fit of your mouthguard. Mouthguards can still be fitted if you have braces or if you wear a partial denture, in nearly all cases.

Impressions of both upper and lower teeth will be taken, and a mouthguard fabricated from the most appropriate material for both your comfort and the nature of your sport. You can usually pick the colours!

This process will provide you with the best fitting guard made specifcally to suit your individual needs.

Fabrication usually takes around a week. Once you have your mouthguard, make sure you keep it clean and store it in a firm container, away from heat to ensure it maintains its shape.

When should I wear my mouthguard?

You should wear a mouthguard when playing and training for any sport where there is a possibility of contact to the face.

What sports require a mouthguard?

This list is far from comprehensive but covers the most common sports:

  • Football (all codes)
  • Basketball
  • Netball
  • Hockey
  • Martial arts (all)
  • BMX and Motocross (along with your helmets)
  • Cricket (wicket keeping, slips field positions and batting)
  • Beach volleyball
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Whitewater kayaking and rafting
  • Some gymnastics
  • Rodeo

How often should I get a new mouthguard?

Mouthguards should be checked or remade every 12 months for optimal fit and protection. This is especially important for kids and teenagers with growing jaws.

Custom made and fitted mouthguards are recommended by Smile Solutions to ensure maximum protection.

Yes, custom mouthguards cost more, but what price can you place on the protection they give? Remember: custom made mouthguards significantly lessen the chances of very expensive major repairs to teeth (especially the front teeth) as-well-as potentially saving a life from brain injury.

Smile Solutions specialises in creating custom-made mouthguards for our patients. Whether you’re sports playing fanatic or a ‘grinder’, you can be confident your teeth are getting the best possible protection.

To book a consultation with your dentist about a custom made mouthguard, simply call the friendly Smile Solutions reception team on 9650 4920.

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