One of the things that any basketball, football, rugby, soccer and hockey player must ensure is that their teeth are well covered before they head out to play. Activities during training and play are known to cause severe dental injuries including loss of teeth.
More than 5 million teeth are avulsed per year as a result of sporting injuries and trauma. For certain cases, these avulsions are the result of either not wearing a mouthguard or wearing poorly made and fitted mouthguards. There should be emphasis on the importance of wearing an athletic mouthguard in any sport.
So, how do you go about choosing the right mouthguard for your players?
When it comes to choosing the right mouthguard, there are many aspects to consider — from the sport and age of the players to individual preferences and desires — and there are numerous choices as well. It’s possible to get distracted easily, and that is the last thing you want when you buy athletic equipment for the entire team.
What do mouthguards do and protect?
Usually, mouthguards cover the upper teeth and protect against:
- Cut lips
- Hard and soft tissue injury
- Teeth avulsion
- Root fractures
What are the various types of Mouthguards?
There are 3 types of mouthguards used in sports:
- Custom-made mouthguards – They are personally designed by your dentist and provide the most comfortable fit and safety. Most athletes prefer custom mouthguards.
- Boil and bite mouthguards – These are preformed shapes that are changed by boiling the mouthguard in water and then biting into the warm plastic to create a custom fit. These types of mouthguards can be found in good stores and give a better fit than stock mouthguards. Such types of mouthguards can result in a poor fit if instructions are not precisely followed.
- Stock mouthguards- These are cheap mouthguards that come pre-formed and ready-to-wear. Because they are pre-formed, they normally don’t fit very well. These can also be heavy and may make it difficult to breathe and talk.
So, how are you going to pick up the right mouthguard for your players? Here’s your easy three-step guide to the right mouthguard.
1. Select the Mouthguard with the Right Protection
It’s not just a clever name: mouthguards actually guard your mouth. But are your players being fully protected?
Proper protection begins with a minimum of 4 mm of material in essential impact zones — areas in the front of the teeth and under the molars — which ensures that there is no bulky material where protection is not required. However, these zones are changing from sport to sport.
It is critical that your athletes have the appropriate level of protection for their particular sport, or that they may be at risk of injury, as well as general discomfort on the field, court or ice, which can be very distracting.
For contact sports such as football and ice hockey, the frontal impact is protected by a face mask or shield, so that the mouthguards of the players may have a thinner frontal profile, but more protection under the molars. In addition to the proper protection, this also allows for more comfort and improved breathing and communication, which is necessary in team sports.
2. Select the Mouthguard that Fits Well
In order for your players to get the most safety and comfort out of their mouthguards, they simply need to be properly worn. And that all starts with the right fit. Everyone’s mouth is different, so it’s important to make sure they’re having a mouthguard designed to take into account the exact individual structure of their teeth. Their guards must be secure enough to stay put on their upper teeth without being held in place by the lower jaw. That doesn’t mean chewing or clenching!
When a mouthguard fits snuggly, it remains in place at any point of effect and will not be dislodged. It’s never meant to be able to come loose and float around the mouth. Players would only be able to remove their mouthguards by taking out their fingers.
3. Select a Mouthguard that has the Right Accessories
Today’s mouthguards are very different from the mouthguards of the past — thankfully! Gone are the days of boiling-and-biting a large chunk of rubber, as mouthguards are now made using state-of-the-art materials and offer a number of choices to customize the guard that is right for each individual player.
That means that the players are having better performance mouthguards and guards that are much more durable — which is especially important for mouthguard chewers. And mouthguards now feature performance improvements, such as features that lock the lower jaw slightly forward, giving the athlete a 17% improvement in extremity strength with less stress on the temporomandibular joint.
So let’s not forget about the full personalization! From color and logo to name and number, the players don’t just get a piece of athletic equipment, but a new favorite piece of team gear that will become an integral part of completing their game face!
With the right protection, fit and accessories, it’s not hard to select the mouthguard that’s perfect for your players.
Our custom-made athletic mouthguards give you better protection with a perfectly fitted mouthguard that lasts the season. A custom fit mouthguard does not fall out in the middle of the game which allows easy contact during the big game!