When it comes to sports, whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, safety should always be a top priority. While helmets, knee pads, and shin guards are common protective gear, there’s one essential piece of equipment that often gets overlooked: the sports mouthguard. In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of custom-made sports mouthguards and explore their numerous advantages over store-bought varieties.
What are Custom-Made Sports Mouthguards?
Custom-made sports mouthguards are dental protective devices specifically designed and crafted to fit the unique contours of an individual’s mouth. Unlike generic mouthguards that are available over-the-counter, custom-made mouthguards are tailored to the individual based on dental impressions taken by a dentist or orthodontist. This ensures a snug, comfortable, and precise fit, offering optimal protection during sports activities.
Types of Mouthguards:
- Stock Mouthguards: These are pre-made and ready-to-wear mouthguards available at most sporting goods stores. They are inexpensive but come in limited sizes (usually small, medium, and large) and may not fit well, potentially offering less protection.
- Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards: Also available at sporting goods stores, these mouthguards are made of a thermoplastic material. They are placed in hot water to soften and then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure. They offer a better fit than stock mouthguards but are still not as precise as custom-made ones.
- Custom-Made Mouthguards: As mentioned, these are made based on dental impressions, ensuring a perfect fit. They are crafted in a dental lab and then adjusted by a dentist for optimal comfort and protection.
Advantages of Custom-Made Sports Mouthguards
- Perfect Fit: One of the most significant benefits of a custom-made mouthguard is its precise fit. A well-fitting mouthguard stays in place, doesn’t hinder speech, and allows for easy breathing.
- Optimal Protection: Due to their tailored fit, custom mouthguards distribute the force of an impact more evenly. This reduces the risk of dental injuries, such as chipped or knocked-out teeth, and protects against cuts to the lips and tongue.
- Comfort: Athletes often complain about the discomfort of store-bought mouthguards. Custom-made versions eliminate this issue, ensuring that players are more likely to wear them consistently.
- Durability: Custom mouthguards are crafted from high-quality materials, making them more durable and long-lasting than their over-the-counter counterparts.
- Personalization: Want a mouthguard in your team’s colors or with your name on it? Customization options are endless when you opt for a custom-made mouthguard.
- Better for Braces: Athletes with braces face unique challenges when it comes to mouth protection. Custom-made mouthguards can be designed to fit over orthodontic appliances, offering enhanced protection without damaging the braces.
Why Every Athlete Should Consider a Custom-Made Mouthguard
While many sports mandate the use of mouthguards, the quality and type of mouthguard can make a significant difference in protection. Sports like basketball, soccer, hockey, and martial arts come with a high risk of facial injuries. Investing in a custom-made mouthguard is a small price to pay for the peace of mind it brings, knowing that your teeth and mouth are shielded from potential harm.
In the realm of sports safety, custom-made mouthguards are game-changers. They offer unparalleled protection, comfort, and durability, ensuring that athletes can focus on their game without worrying about dental injuries. If you or your loved ones are involved in sports, consider visiting your dentist to discuss the benefits of a custom-made sports mouthguard. After all, a smile is worth protecting!