Mouthguards – a sporting necessity

There was a time in sports history when people engaged in collision sports such as Australian rugby, American football, boxing and other contact sports without any protection to the head, neck, knee or mouth. Fortunately, sanity has prevailed and today safety matters.

Many sports players now enter their sporting arena wearing protective padding and hard helmets yet the mouthguard is possibly one of the last safety devices to be made mandatory. One of the reasons for this might be that sports mouthguards have had a chequered history.

Early versions of the mouthguards we see today gained the reputation of being as much a danger to the players as were the blows the players received to their teeth during play. These early guards were made of material that was hard and unbending and wearing the guards often had a detrimental effect on the player’s mouth, oral cavity and teeth.

Today, sports players have safe and comfortable protection available to them. Custom fitted mouth guards provided by dentists can protect the entire dental structure, oral cavity and lips of the player. They are scientifically designed to protect players from the types of injuries that can have permanent and negative effects.

Superior safety with custom fitted sports mouthguards

In comparison to off-the-shelf sports mouthguards, the protection provided by custom fitted guards carefully made by a dentist for a player’s unique mouth is far superior. Store bought guards, typically made of rubber composite, can be chewy and bulky and can rapidly disintegrate in the mouth.

In recent times, there has been a proliferation within the market of what are being called high performance dental appliances or performance enhancing mouthguards. These high priced mouthguards are most often sponsored by sports stars and claim to provide enhanced strength, stamina and concentration to the player. It is easy to get swept up in the purported benefits of these guards but it is critical to remember that there have been no clinical trials undertaken to prove or disprove these benefits or to test the protection offered by these guards. For this reason, custom fitted mouthguards provided by your dentist remain the best protection for sports players.

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