Sports Mouth Guards
Don’t let this happen to you
Custom Mouth Guards are supplied by your dentist. Custom Mouth Guards provide the dentist with the critical ability to address several important issues in the fitting of the mouth guard. Several questions must be answered before the Custom Mouth Guard can be fabricated.
These questions include those addressed at the preseason screening or dental examination.
- Is the mouth guard designed for the particular sport being played?
- Is the age of the athlete and the possibility of providing space for erupting teeth in mixed dentition (age 6-12) going to affect the mouth guard? Will the design of the mouth guard be appropriate for the level of competition being played?
- Does the patient have any history of previous dental injury or concussion, thus needing additional protection in any specific area?
- Is the athlete undergoing orthodontic treatment?
- Does the patient present with cavities and/or missing teeth?
- Is the athlete being helped by a dentist and/or athletic trainer or by a sporting good retailer not trained in medical/dental issues?
These are important questions that the sporting good store retailer and the boil & bite mouth guard CANNOT begin to address. The custom made mouth guards are designed by your dentist and are the most satisfactory of all types of mouth protectors. They fulfill all the criteria for adaptation, retention, comfort, and stability of material. They interfere the least with speaking and studies have shown that the Custom Mouth Guard has virtually no effect on breathing. Custom Mouth Guards are made from a stone cast of the mouth, usually of the maxillary (upper) arch, using an impression (mold) fabricated by your dentist. A thermoplastic mouth guard material is adapted over the cast with a special vacuum machine. The Custom Mouth Guard is then trimmed and polished to allow for proper tooth and gum adaptation. All back teeth should be covered.
It should be noted that these Custom Mouth Guards are superior to the store bought stock and boil and bite mouth guards because they have a much better fit, made from a mold of your mouth, and are designed by your dentist.
Strap attachments to helmets may be requested and are easily adapted to the custom made mouth guard, although not needed because of the good fit. Custom Mouth Guards can be fabricated at WinningSmiles for a nominal fee.
Sports Dentistry Facts
- It has been shown that properly fabricated custom made mouth guards by your dentist can reduce the rate of concussion as well as dental and mandibular injuries.
- Stenger and others have demonstrated in 1962 the reduction of concussions and head and neck injuries as well as reduction in dental facial injuries when the Notre Dame Football team wore professionally fabricated custom made mouth guards.
- Repeated concussions appear to impart cumulative damage, resulting in increased severity and duration with each incident. Therefore it is imperative to diagnose and deliver proper custom made mouth guards to athletes after an episode of concussion.
- In football, the chance of having a second concussion is four times greater than the chance of sustaining a first concussion.
- Catastrophic brain swelling may occur following a second minor head injury in individuals who are still symptomatic from a prior concussion.
- Dental injuries are the most common type of oro-facial injury sustained during participation in sports; the majority of these dental injuries are preventable.
- An athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouth guard.
- The cost of a fractured tooth is many times greater than the cost of a dentist diagnosed and designed professionally made mouth guard.
- Every athlete involved in contact sport has about a 10% chance per season of an oro-facial injury, or a 33-56% chance during an athletic career.
- The cost to replant a tooth and the follow-up dental treatment is about $5000.
- Victims of knocked out teeth who do not have a tooth properly preserved or replanted may face lifetime dental costs of $15,000-$20,000/tooth, hours in the dental chair, and the possible development of other dental problems such as periodontal disease.
- It is estimated that faceguards and mouth guards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and college football.
- The stock mouth guard which is bought at sports stores without any individual fitting provides only a low level of protection, if any. If the wearer is rendered unconscious, there is a risk the mouth guard may lodge in the throat potentially causing an airway obstruction.
Facts about mouth guards:
- A properly fitted mouth guard reduces the chances of sustaining a concussion from a blow to the jaw.
- Mouth guards should be worn at all times during competition; in practice as well as in games.
- Contact your local dental society and association for information on dentists and mouth guard programs in your area.
The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouth guards for the following sports: acrobats, basketball, boxing, field Hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling.