Mouthguards are an essential piece of sporting equipment. Whether you are looking to protect your teeth from injury or trying to improve your sports performance, mouthguards are a good investment. Estimates of the lifetime cost of a dental injury range from $8,000 to $25,000, based on the extent of the injury. Using a mouthguard can reduce your risk of dental injury by more than 80%. Just another reason why they’re a very good investment.
Do You Need a Mouthguard?
In some sports, mouthguards are mandatory. However, this is only a very small proportion of the sports where one should be wearing a mouthguard. According to the American Dental Association, mouthguards are recommended if you participate in any of the following sports:
- Equestrian events
- Field hockey
- Ice hockey
- Inline skating
- Martial arts
- Water polo
All of these sports have significant risk for dental injuries, which can be reduced by mouthguards.
Dental Injuries and Their Treatment
There are a wide variety of dental injuries that can occur during sports. Below are some of the most common sports injuries and their recommended treatment:
- Chipped tooth—requires dental bonding or porcelain veneers
- Cracked tooth—requires a dental crown
- Displaced tooth—may require oral surgery
- Lost tooth—requires dental implant or a dental bridge
These injuries can be painful, may result in time lost from school or work, and can be painful. Preventing them is easy and inexpensive.
In general, there are four types of mouthguards used to protect your teeth. All provide some level of protection, but they are not equal:
- Stock mouthguard
- Boil-and-bite mouthguard
- Professionally fitted mouthguard
- Neuromuscular mouthguard
Stock mouthguards are used as purchased. People often complain about discomfort and may find them difficult to breathe with. They tend to provide the lowest level of protection of any mouthguard.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are sometimes described as mouth-formed mouthguards. They are made of a thermoplastic that softens when dipped in boiling water. You bite into the hot mouthguard to create a custom impression of your teeth. They tend to provide a higher level of protection than stock mouthguards, but may wear out quickly.
Professionally-fitted mouthguards provide the highest level of protection and durability. They can be designed to make it easy to breathe and speak while wearing them. They tend to be the most comfortable.
Neuromuscular mouthguards not only protect your teeth, but may help improve your athletic performance. If you have TMJ or a related jaw conditions, you may be expending a surprising amount of muscle force in clenching your jaw together. Neuromuscular mouthguards reduce this wasted expenditure, may improve breathing, and can enhance strength, endurance, speed, and balance for some athletes. Pure Power Mouthguard and Armourbite are examples of neuromuscular mouthguards.
To learn which type of mouthguard is best for you in your sport, please call (619) 299-5925 or email Strober Dental in San Diego today.