sportsguards, mouthguards and mouth protectors are different names for the same thing: a rubber device worn over your teeth that protects them from blows to the face and head.
sportsguards are an important piece of athletic equipment for anyone participating in a sport that involves falls, body contact or flying equipment. this includes rugby, football, boxing, martial arts, basketball, baseball, hockey and lacrosse — any activity that might result in an injury to the mouth.
sportsguards typically cover the upper teeth, and are designed to protect against broken teeth, cut lips and other damage to your mouth. if you wear braces or other fixed dental appliances (such as a bridge) on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well. it should be resilient, tear-resistant and comfortable. it should also fit properly and not restrict your speech or breathing.
31% of dental emergency trauma cases admitted to hospital are for sports injuries.
if you don’t wear a mouthguard and you were to be hit in the face, the teeth can come together with such force that teeth can be broken and at worst the jaw can be broken and you can suffer with concussion due to the shock of the blow being transmitted through the skull. the long term cost financially and psychologically to the sufferer is unmeasurable. so…it is essential that everyone who should wear a mouthguard, wears one that is properly constructed and well-fitting.
the functions of a sportsguard are:
to dissipate forces of a direct blow around the dental arch and guard
prevent lacerations to gums, tongue and cheeks
reduce the risk of dento-alveolar fractures
reduce risk of avulsed (i.e. knocked out) teeth
depending on your age, your sportsguard may need replacing fairly regularly. if you are still growing, new teeth will come through and move into position. the mouthguard may then become too tight or loose, and will need to be remade to fit the new shape of your mouth.
adults may not need to have their mouthguards replaced quite so often. but they are like any other form of sports equipment and will suffer from wear and tear. we recommend that you bring your mouthguard along when you come in for a check-up, so we can make sure it is still fit for purpose..