Winter is here and with it the rugby, basketball, and mouthguard season. It is important that your children have the best fitting mouthguard to help shield their teeth in an impact situation. A fitted mouthguard will provide a cushion that gives protection when jaws are driven hard together. It’s also just as important that they feel comfortable wearing their mouthguard or they will probably find creative ways to avoid using it . Even the best mouthguard is no help if it spends the game tucked into your child’s sock!
The allblacks.com website states that the law around mouthguard use was introduced because there are real benefits to wearing them. Mouthguards have been shown to reduce cuts to the lips, mouth, cheeks and tongue, protect the teeth from direct blows and help prevent jaw injuries. Mouthguards worn by players with braces may even prevent injury to another player caused by contact with their braces.
Research suggests that players who don’t wear their mouthguard are almost five times more likely to make a dental claim to ACC than those who do. According to a 2010 study around sports-related ACC claims, a quarter were dental related, with sports like rugby carrying a greater risk than some other sports (Welch et.al 2010).
A fitted mouthguard will:-
- allow easy speaking and won’t limit breathing
- stay firmly in place during action (so won’t spend most of the game in the sock!)
- provide a high degree of comfort and fit
- be durable and easy to clean
- be resilient, tear resistant, odourless and tasteless
The New Zealand Dental Association recommends that a good mouthguard should be of sufficient thickness in the correct areas, as well as being resilient, well retained and comfortable. They also recommend that everyone wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports. They also agree that a properly fitted, custom made mouthguard offers the best protection.
At Duchenne Dental, we feel strongly about mouthguard use too, not just because of the reasons above but also because we know only too well that tooth loss (particularly in the young) incurs a tremendous financial, emotional, and psychological cost.
So bring your children in to see us and we will make sure they have a mouthguard that protects them from potential injury and is comfortable to wear. And if they resist? Just remind them that a broken tooth is damaged for LIFE!