It may be hard to believe but sporting accidents are one of the most common causes of dental injury. A lot of these dental injuries can be avoided or minimized by wearing a protective, custom-fitted mouthguard.
Q. Why do I need a mouthguard?
Wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard helps to absorb and spread the impact of a blow to the face, which may otherwise result in an injury to your mouth or jaw.
The cost of an injury to your teeth or jaw far out way the cost of a custom-fitted mouthguard-
- Dental injuries can result in time off school or work to recover
- Can be painful and disfiguring
- Can involve lengthy and complex dental treatment.
Q. When should I wear a mouthguard?
Custom-fitted mouthguards should be worn whilst playing and training for any sport such as hockey, netball, baseball, basketball and even skateboarding and skiing where there is a possibility of contact to the face. Just like having the correct shoes and sporting equipment, anyone playing these sports needs to wear a custom-fitted mouthguard.
Q. What are the different types of mouthguards?
Generally there are two types of mouthguards, custom-fitted and over-the-counter.
These are made by your dentist. By taking an impression of your teeth, it allows the dentist to accurately assess mouth to provide the best fitting mouthguard for you.
Custom-fitted mouthguards provide a better fit as they are made to suit your individual needs. That way your mouthguard-
- Is well fitting
- Is comfortable
- Won’t shift or fall out
- Allows you to speak clearly
- Won’t restrict your breathing
Over-the counter (boil and bite) mouthguards
Over-the-counter mouthguards such as stock mouthguards that don’t require fitting and mouthguards that can be placed in hot water and self fitted by biting into a mould are far less effective than those that are custom-fitted. Unfortunately these types of mouthguards do not provide enough protection against injuries to your teeth, mouth or jaw.
How long will my mouthguard last?
To ensure that your mouthguard fits correctly and gives you maximum protection, it’s important to have it assessed by your dentist at your regular dental check-ups. You may need a replacement if your adult teeth have come through or if your mouthguard has been damaged.
Q. How do I care for my mouthguard?
- Store in rigid plastic container, provided by the dentist
- Rinse in cold water after use
- Mouthguards will change shape in high temperatures, so keep out of direct sunlight
- Occasionally rinse your mouthguard with mouthwash
- Have your mouthguard assessed by your dentist at your regular check-ups
- Replace your mouthguard if it gets damaged
Q. What do I do if a tooth is accidently knocked out?
If a tooth is knocked out, it is important to do the following
- Locate the tooth and handle it gently
- If dirty, rinse the entire tooth in water by holding it under gently running water. Don’t scrape or rub it. Just rinse of any visible dirt. It’s important to keep any soft tissue intact.
- Place the tooth back in the socket, making sure it is facing the right way around. It is important to replace the tooth within 5-10 minutes of the tooth being knocked out
- Ask the patient to hold the tooth in place by biting gently into a clean, soft cloth. If the patient has a mouthguard but wasn’t wearing it at the time of the accident, this can be used to hold the tooth in place in the mouth.
- If it is difficult to put the tooth back in the socket, keep it moist by putting it in a small amount of milk in a sealed plastic bag
- Even if in doubt whether the tooth is a baby or adult tooth, put it back in its socket
Immediately seek dental treatment for any damaged teeth- time is critical to prevent permanent damage
Note: The aim of this general information is to educate the reader about Mouthguards and may not essentially contain all aspects of the treatment. It would be beneficial to see us for a consultation to discuss the procedure and all of the associated complications.
Give us a call on (03) 5821 2388 to book an appointment and our dentist will be more than happy to answer all of your concerns.