Sports Dentistry – Mouthguard Protection
Indications for mouthguard
What are the best mouthguards?
Academy for Sports Dentistry:
The position of the Academy for Sports Dentistry is that to be adequate. A mouthguard must be properly fitted and properly worn. In order to ensure a proper fit, a mouthguard is best fitted by a dental professional. It is generally accepted that a custom fitted mouthguard fabricated over a dental cast of the athlete’s teeth will give the best fit.
A mouthguard made by a dental professional can also tailor the mouthguard to the demands of the athlete and the sport. Speech requirements, individual occlusal differences and relative dental and concussion injury risks of each sport can only be customized by fabricating an individual mouthguard. It is difficult to see how an over- the-counter mouthguard can fill all of an athlete’s requirements without being checked and adjusted by an informed dental professional.
Who should wear a mouthguard?
Academy for Sports Dentistry:
Anyone participating in a sport that contains a chance of injury to the teeth, jaws, or oral soft tissues or which shows a potential risk of concussion could benefit from the use of a mouthguard. In general, anyone participating in a contact or collision sport could benefit from a properly fitted and properly worn mouthguard. Participants in an individual sport, such as rollerblading, which puts the athlete at risk, should use a mouthguard. A properly fitted and properly worn mouthguard shouldn’t interfere with an athlete performing any sport at the highest level.
Dr. Elif Gündüz:
Mouthguards should only be used during sports activities, not at night or during the day for other reasons.
Most traumas in the oral region affects the upper four incisor teeth. After the upper incisors’ full eruption, children aged 8-9 can start using mouthguard.
Especially athletes which have large distance between the upper and lower incisors (overjet) and the athletes who are being treated with orthodontic braces should use mouthguard .
What are the precautions that must be taken while using Mouthguard?
Dr. Elif Gündüz
Mouthguards should only be used by the athlete during sports activities.
A mouthguard does not have any effect on orthodontic treatment of the teeth or bruxism.
It will take time for the athlete to get used to the mouthguard
Athlete should use the mouthguard during the games, as well as during practices.
When the athlete get a new mouthguard, he/she should use it during practices before the professional games.
When the mouthguard is applied for the first time the athlete might feel uncomfortable. There can be an increase in the amount of saliva and phonetic problems can occur.
The time for the athlete to get used to using a mouthguard can vary from one week to a couple of months.
Mouthguards should be stable.
Mouthguard should be applied to the prominent jaw, generally upper jaw
The antagonist teeth must be within full and harmonious contact with the mouthguard’s occlusal surface. To ease the breathing and harmonious antagonist teeth contact, if necessary, posterior molar teeth can be left outside the plaque borders
Mouthguards should be kept in boxes when not used
The mouthguard should be kept hygienic, washed and cleaned properly
Mouthguards should be cleaned at home with water and liquid soap after every use.
For better hygiene there are water resolvent disinfectant tablets or powders.
According to the athlete’s hygiene and the way of using the mouthguard, it is normally recommended to renew a mouthguard once a year.