“My ten year old has started playing football. How important is it to wear a mouthguard?”
Wearing a mouthguard is essential during any sport or activity that can involve contact to the head and mouth. Injuries to the teeth, mouth and jaws are some of the most common injuries that occur on the sporting field and can leave you with chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth or even tooth loss.
An effective mouthguard is like wearing a helmet for our teeth and jaws. It acts as a shock absorber protecting the teeth and lower jaw from potentially breaking and also prevents you from accidentally biting your lips, tongue or cheeks.
It is just as important to wear a mouthguard when in braces or if you have fixed orthodontic appliances, as mouthguards can not only protect the teeth themselves, but also prevent breakages of the braces and avoid cuts of the lips, cheeks and tongue.
A re-mouldable mouthguard can be purchased at most chemists or sporting stores and moulded multiple times at home if necessary to best fit the mouth through dental changes. This form of mouthguard is best suited for people who have braces, orthodontic appliances or are still losing baby teeth.
An ideal fitting mouthguard can be made by attending a dentist or orthodontist. This generally involves taking an impression or a 3D scan that can then be designed specifically for the individual. This type of mouthguard is best suited for individuals who have finished with orthodontic treatment or have all of their adult teeth.