Mouthguards for sport – are dentist mouthguards better than chemist bought?

Mouthguards are essential in many contact sports to protect teeth, cheeks, lips and tongue from injury. They are compulsory in many sports including rugby, hockey, waterpolo and basketball.

Dentists recommend mouthguards to act as a buffer zone to reduce severity of injury during sporting injuries. Common traumatic injuries include knocking a tooth or teeth out, breaking a tooth, breaking the jaw, cutting the lips and gums, or biting through the lips. A concussion is also common, and if you experience a concussion it is essential you go to hospital to have scans to check you haven’t experienced a more severe trauma than it first appears.

There are two main types of mouthguards- boil and bite chemist bought mouthguards and custom mouthguards.

Boil and bite mouthguards are stock sized and often don’t fit well. They can be trimmed to an approximate size but because they are loose and bulky they often fall down and out making talking difficult. Kids often chew on the mouthguards rather than leaving them in position negating their purpose. Additionally the heating process often thins the mouthguard to less than the recommended thickness of 3-4mm, meaning even whilst wearing the mouthguard it may not have enough cushion to protect the teeth and bone beneath from injury.

Custom mouthguards are made specifically for you by a dentist. An impression of your mouth and teeth is made, and a laboratory fabricates a mouthguard to perfectly fit your mouth. Not only will they stay in place, they are more comfortable and are of sufficient thickness (generally 3-4mm) to protect your teeth. They can be made to fit over braces, and the dentist takes into account baby teeth that are soon to fall out leaving space for their adult teeth.

Whichever mouthguard you use a new mouthguard is recommended every year for children as they are growing, their jaws getting larger and teeth are changing.

If you’d like a mouthguard for you or your child book online, or ring Tooth Dental for an appointment.