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To protect against sports injuries
We recommend an athletic mouthguard
It’s no secret that tooth and jaw injuries are a real threat when engaging in contact sports. It has been several generations since we’ve seen professional hockey or football players play without them. But athletic mouthguards are not just for contact sports and high end athletes.
While anyone participating in a contact sport can reap the tooth and jaw protection benefits of a sports mouthguard, if you participate in a sport where you may sustain a fall such as:
- ski racing
- mountain biking
- equestrian sports
we recommend you consider an athletic mouthguard.
What types of mouthguards are available?
Athletic mouthguards generally come in three types:
- Boil and bite
A stock, or off-the-shelf mouthguard can be bought at most sporting goods stores. The advantage of a stock mouthguard is the convenience and lower cost. However, stock mouthguards come with little adjustability, making them potentially uncomfortable. Additionally, their bulk tends to make talking and breathing more difficult.
Boil and bite mouthguards are made of a thermoplastic material that becomes malleable when heated in hot water. Once you place it in your mouth, you can shape it to your teeth using your fingers and tongue. Boil and bite mouthguards can be bought at many sporting goods stores.
A custom mouthguard is individually designed in a dental clinic. To make your custom mouthguard, Chestermere dentist Dr Lowry uses a precise mold of your teeth. A custom mouthguard usually provides better fit and protection, but tends to increase the time commitment and cost.
What does an athletic mouthguard do?
An athletic mouthguard’s primary function is to cushion a blow to the face and dissipate the force behind the impact. Sports mouthguards can also protect your lips, tongue and other oral soft tissues as well as help you avoid:
The ability of a sports mouthguard to prevent concussion is currently being studied. While unproven, the theory is that by clenching down on an athletic mouthguard the neck muscles are activated to better stabilize the head.
Researchers have also reported the beneficial effects a sports mouthguard may have on athletic performance. According to Dr Phillip Gardner, Director of Canada’s Health, Leisure and Performance Research Institute, most benefits seem to relate to power, but there is also some evidence that endurance may be improved. Read more on this research here
Learn more about athletic mouthguards
It’s important to note that a sports mouthguard is not the same as a night guard designed to protect your teeth against clenching and grinding. If you would like to learn more about mouthguards, or if you are wondering which type might be best for you, please schedule a consultation.