PUBLISHED ON 03/06/21
If you or your family play a sport such as AFL football, soccer, hockey, rugby, cricket, basketball or netball – basically any activity with the risk of accidental collision – you will want to consider custom dental mouthguards to protect your teeth.
While a cut lip might not seem like much, sporting injuries can cause significant damage to your mouth that can be difficult and expensive to treat, from broken jaws to fractured or cracked teeth. This is where custom dental mouthguards come in.
A dentist will custom-fit the mouthguard to your teeth, by first taking an impression of your teeth and jaw. The mouthguard works by absorbing and distributing any impacts to it.
A custom mouthguard is far superior to an over-the-counter mouthguard, as it’s specially designed for your own mouth, stays firmly in place, and let you speak and breathe normally. If properly stored and maintained, it should last several seasons.
On the other hand, over-the-counter mouthguards are often loosely fitted, impact speech and breathing, and aren’t anywhere near as effective.
Maintaining good hygiene and caring for your mouthguard properly will help it last longer and reduce the transmission of bacteria and viruses, including Covid-19.
Wearing your mouthguard
Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser before inserting and removing your mouthguard.
Avoid taking your mouthguard out during play at training sessions or competitive games.
Storing your mouthguard
Store your mouthguard in a labelled container with ventilation, so it can dry and so you don’t mistakenly take someone else’s mouthguard. Don’t leave it sitting on any surfaces that could be contaminated or carry it loose in a bag.
Maintaining your mouthguard
Clean your mouthguard regularly; check with your dentist on the best way to clean it after each use (e.g. wash in soapy water, air dry or dry with paper towel). Use mild, alcohol- free soap and avoid harsh products.
Replace your mouthguard when you notice signs of wear and tear such as cracking or small holes, as bacteria can form in these cracks and cause irritation.
The first thing is to remain calm. It’s important to act quickly; ideally try to see your dentist within 30 minutes.
1. Find the tooth and hold it by the crown only, not the root surface. The crown is the part of the tooth that’s visible inside the mouth, while the root is what anchors it to the jawbone and is not usually visible.
2. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it in milk or tap water very briefly. Do not scrub it.
3. Place the tooth back in position inside the mouth:
– Make sure it is facing the right way around
– Gently bite down on soft cloth or tissue, or use aluminium foil or your mouthguard to hold it in place.
4. If you can’t replant the tooth, transport it to your dentist in milk or saliva. Do not store in water.
What not to do:
– Do not wrap the tooth in a paper towel or a serviette.
– Do not store the tooth in water when transporting it to the dentist.
– Do not scrub the root surface of the tooth when rinsing it.
– Do not delay seeing a dentist: the sooner you do, the better the long-term outcome may be.
If you’re interested in a custom dental mouthguard, please book a consultation with us.