Playing contact sport is a great way to stay fit and healthy, keeping your body and mind in good shape. From an early age we are encouraged to play sport and as we grow older many of us continue to play sport through joining local clubs. If you are interested in taking up a sport, have a look at the Sport England website, they have information on all kinds of different sports and how you can get involved.
Regardless of the activity that you chose to do, it is important that you look after your body before, during and after you have exercised. Learning how to stretch safely and warming up and down will help prevent any muscle problems. But it is also important to remember that if you are taking part in contact sports or sports where an impact to a hard surface could cause harm, adequate head, mouth and body protection should be worn.
Your teeth are an essential part in keeping you fit and healthy and helping to protect your mouth by wearing a mouthguard couldn’t be easier. By wearing a mouthguard you can reduce the risk of chips, fractures, jaw problems or even having one tooth or several teeth knocked out.
There are some sports which at amateur level you will need to wear a mouthguard when training or playing in a competition, they are; boxing, football, ice hockey, men’s lacrosse and field hockey. But you should also wear a mouthguard when playing competitively or training in the following sports or activities; basketball, softball, wrestling, football, lacrosse, rugby, cricket, in-line skating, biking, martial arts and skateboarding.
This type of mouthguard is bought off the shelf and has limited fitting adjustments. They may cause mouth traumas, as well as limited breathing and speech difficulties, as the jaw will need to be closed to hold the guard in place when being worn.
Mouth formed guards
Also known as ‘boil and bite’ guards, these guards are heated using hot water, the wearer then bites into the mould which is then left to set. The guard will not fit 100% as the mould has not been vacuum-fitted to the teeth. The life of the guard will also be considerably less than that of a custom made guard.
Made by your dentist, custom made mouthguards are the most expensive option but do provide the best fit. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth which the mouthguard is then made from. As your teeth are unique this custom made guard will fit your teeth perfectly, providing the best protection and comfort.
To find out more about mouthguards contact your dentist. They will be able to help and advise you in your choice of mouthguard and discuss the safety of each with you. Dentists regularly attend training courses to keep up to date with new techniques, methods and materials. LonDEC has a variety of courses for dentists and dental staff to keep them up to date.