Mouth Guards in the Prevention of Sports-Related Injuries
It is estimated that players of contact sports have a 28% chance of sustaining an injury to the face or mouth (Oliveira et al.). Although, we hope that never happens to anyone, we aim to reduce the risk of injury if possible.
When it comes to the prevention of oral and dental injuries, mouth guards have been shown to reduce the risk of injury by 50% (Heintz et al.).
What are the types of Mouth Guards?
- Stock Mouth Guard: these are purchased over-the-counter. They tend to have a looser fit, as they are not custom made.
- Boil-and-bite: these are purchased over-the-counter. This style has a nice fit if done right and will work for most athletes.
- Custom-made: these are made by a dental provider. They have the best fit and will be modified to fit not too large or small, but ‘just right’ for your dental arches.
Which Mouth Guard is right for you?
For anyone in active orthodontic treatment, a stock mouth guard provided by your orthodontist is the best way to go. Since your teeth are constantly moving, a custom mouth guard will not fit in a matter of days. Thus, the mouth guard should leave room for the braces and teeth to move to the intended positions. This is true for patients in braces and clear aligners (Invisalign®, Spark®).
For anyone not in orthodontic treatment, a boil-and-bite or custom mouth guard will work best for a nice fit. A custom mouth guard will fit the best and provide the most comfort during a sporting event or any physical activity.
If you have any questions regarding what mouth guard is best for you or you child don’t hesitate to ask us!
Have a great day/week!
- Oliveira Werlich M, Honnef LR, Silva Bett JV, et al. Prevalence of dentofacial injuries in contact sports players: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Dent Traumatol 2020;36(5):477-88. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32176431/
- Clegg JH. Mouth protection for the rugby football player. Br Dent J. 1969 Oct 7;127(7):341-3. PMID: 5259663. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/5259663/
- Heintz WD. Mouth protectors: a progress report. Bureau of Dental Health Education. J Am Dent Assoc. 1968 Sep;77(3):632-6. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.1968.0267. PMID: 4385941. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/4385941/