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Sports Dentistry

Dental injuries are the most common type of injury to the face, but many dental injuries can easily be prevented. In the United States, five million teeth are knocked out each year — mainly the front teeth!

About one of every three dental injuries each year is attributable to sports-related accidents when athletes are not wearing mouth protection. Mouthguards also protect the lips, cheeks, and tongue. They can assist in protecting children from head and neck injuries such as concussions and jaw fractures.

At Alexandria Children’s Dentistry, we offer custom-made mouthguards. We use Gladiator Mouth Guards: the same company that Lebron James uses! A custom mouthguard with a player’s personalized name, number, and team logo instantly becomes a favorite piece of their uniform and an essential component for completing their game face.

Take a look at why your player can benefit from a custom-made mouthguard

With player safety as vital as ever, you owe it to your players to make custom-fit mouthguards a top priority — on par with jerseys, helmets, and shoes or cleats. Consider the facts:

  • More than 5 million teeth are knocked out each year, and the lifetime cost to replace one tooth is approximately $20,000.
  • Athletes don’t like wearing bulky uncomfortable mouthguards.

  • Generic boil-and-bite mouthguards are inexpensive because they’re chunks of rubber that are chewed through and turn unrecognizable almost instantly.

  • Players leave boil-and-bite mouthguards on the field, in their lockers, or simply choose to not use them at all because they look disgusting and make it hard to breathe and speak.

  • Custom mouthguards are designed for optimal oxygen flow. The more oxygen an athlete takes in, the more enhanced his or her performance, endurance, and communication becomes.

  • Custom mouthguards are designed to match the exact structure of each player’s individual mouth, making for the most intimate and comfortable-fitting mouthguard possible, and therefore outlasting boil-and-bite guards 5-to-1.

  • Even players with braces get the comfort and protection they need with custom-fit mouthguards.

The better the fit, the better your players perform and the better they are protected when they take a hit to the mouth or jaw.

Commonly Asked Questions about Mouthguards

What is a mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a flexible appliance made of plastic that’s worn during athletic and recreational activities to protect the teeth from trauma.

Why should one wear a mouthguard?

To protect the mouth from injuries. The dental profession unanimously supports the use of mouthguards in a variety of sports activities. More than 200,000 injuries to the mouth and jaw occur each year.

Do mouthguards prevent Injuries?

A mouthguard can prevent serious injuries such as concussions, unconsciousness, cerebral hemorrhages, jaw fractures, and neck injuries by helping to avoid situations where the lower jaw gets jammed into the upper jaw. Mouthguards are effective in moving soft tissue in the oral cavity away from the teeth, and prevent laceration and bruising of the lips and cheeks, especially for those who wear orthodontic appliances.

In what sports should I wear a mouthguard?

Any time there’s a strong chance for contact with other participants or hard surfaces, it is advisable to wear a mouthguard. Players who participate in basketball, softball, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, in-line skating, and martial arts as well as recreational sports such as skateboarding and bicycling should wear a mouthguard.

Currently, five sports at the amateur level require mouthguards during practice and competition: boxing, football, ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, and women’s field hockey.

How should one care for a mouthguard?

  • Clean the mouthguard by washing it with soap and warm (not hot) water.
  • Before storing, soak the mouthguard in mouthwash.
  • Keep the mouthguard in a well-ventilated plastic storage box when not in use. Make sure the box has several holes so the mouthguard will dry.
  • Heat is bad for mouthguards, so don’t leave one in direct sunlight or in a closed automobile.
  • Don’t bend the mouthguard when storing.
  • Don’t handle or wear someone else’s mouthguard.

What are the other different types of mouthguards that are not custom-fit?

Stock mouthguard

The lowest-cost option is a stock item, which offers the least protection because the fit adjustment is limited. It may interfere with speech and breathing because this product requires that the jaw be closed to hold it in place. A stock mouthguard is not regarded as an acceptable facial protective device.

Mouth-formed protectors

These mouthguards come as a shell-liner and “boil-and bite” product. The shell is lined with acrylic or rubber. When placed in an athlete’s mouth, the protector’s lining material molds to the teeth and is allowed to set.

The lining of the “boil-and-bite” mouthguard is immersed in boiling water for ten to 45 seconds, transferred to cold water and then adapted to the teeth. The “boil-and-bite” mouthguard is used by more than 90 percent of athletes who use mouthguards. They are less expensive than custom-made guards, but the fit is not as good and they do not last as long.