To put it simply, if you play contact sport, you are at risk of injuring your teeth.1Sports-related injuries account for 40% of dental injuries yet only 36% of Australians wear a mouthguard when playing contact sport. Even fewer wear a mouth guard during training.2 Worrying statistics suggest that 50% of dental injuries on the sporting field are preventable if a mouth guard is worn!
It is recommended that mouthguards should be worn by people who play competitive or recreational sports in which impact, contact, and collision are likely to occur.3 When you think about it, this includes most sports! Some examples include netball, soccer, football including touch football, cricket, gymnastics, martial arts, skateboarding, and the list continues!
Types of Mouthguards and How They Work
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends custom-fitted mouthguards that are made by your dentist.1 They protect teeth, soft tissues, and supporting structures from external forces and opposing teeth. Mouthguard use also reduces the potential of jaw fractures and dislocations. Custom-fitted mouthguards are fabricated based on an impression from your teeth, so they are an exact fit.1
They allow you to talk normally, don’t restrict your breathing, and fit firmly in place so you can focus on your sport rather than your mouthguard! Mouthguards from your local chemist such as “boil and bite” systems and “stock” mouthguards are uncomfortable to wear, can affect your ability to speak and breathe, and may not protect your teeth as well as a custom-fitted mouthguard.
If you are a sporting club, and looking at putting in place mandatory mouthguard policy, we welcome you to download this form endorsed by both the ADA and Sports Medicine Australia (SMA).