Why is it important to use a custom-made mouthguard?

What is a mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a removable, protective device usually worn in the upper jaw during physical activity that helps reduce injuries to the teeth, jaws and surrounding soft tissues. There are various types of mouthguards available, however the most beneficial type is a custom-made mouthguard made to the cast of the wearer’s jaws.

Did you know that Parklands Dental can provide custom-made mouthguards for you and your family? Dr Aashul Patel and Dr Sophie Andrews are trained in taking the appropriate impressions needed to produce a mouthguard specifically designed to your teeth and jaw.

It is far safer and more comfortable to wear a custom made mouthguard than a generic chemist or store bought  mouthguard.

There are many disadvantages to chemist or store bought mouthguards. These include inadequate thickness, material deterioration and lack of retention which could all lead to risk of injury.

Benefits of a mouthguard

• Risk of injury to upper and lower teeth
• Lacerations to soft tissues in the moth
• Damage to tongue at impact
• Fracture to either upper lower jaw
• Trauma to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

Dental injuries are relatively common in children and custom-made mouth guards are recommended as soon as they begin participating in organised contact sport. As children grow and their dentition changes, it is advised that a new custom-made mouthguard is made annually to keep new teeth protected accordingly. If you or your family member is undergoing orthodontic treatment, they are also advised to get a mouthguard made.

How to look after your mouthguard

Once you have your custom-made mouthguard, here are some tips on how to use and take care of it:
• Wear your mouthguard at training, practice and during the game
• Rinse your mouth with water before and after use
• Only use cold water when cleaning your mouthguard
• Clean the inner surface of your mouthguard using a soft toothbrush
• Do not let others use your mouthguard – it is custom-made and so can only be use by you
• Store your mouthguard clean and dry in its container
• Keep your mouthguard away from heat or sunlight
• Examine your mouthguard for wear and deterioration or reduction in fit as part of your dental check-ups. Your dentist can advise you if a new guard is needed.
• Contact your dentist if your mouthguard starts to become loose or too tight or cause you any discomfort

Most health funds will cover a proportion of your custom-made mouthguard cost, however if your health insurance is with BUPA and you have hospital and extras cover, your mouthguard is completely covered, leaving you with no out of pocket expense. This is because we are a Bupa Platinum Members First provider and Bupa members are covered in full for certain dental treatments including mouthguards!

If you have any questions about obtaining a custom-made mouthguard, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Parklands Dental.