What You Need to Know About Mouth Guards
Football season may mean something different to you if you are a football player. It’s time to get back to the field and score.
Should you wear a mouthguard as a football player?
Mouthguards must be worn when playing football. NFL players are often seen wearing different types of mouthguards on the playing field.
Mouthguards are worn primarily to protect your teeth. In contact sports, you will most likely bite down and lose a tooth. With mouthguards, the impact on your teeth and jaw could be lessened.
Mouthguards in football
In the 1950s, the American Dental Association (ADA) began researching mouthguards and highlighting their advantages to the general public. Before that, around 30% of American football player injuries involved dental injury. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) adopted a similar policy in 1973 and made mouthguards a mandatory requirement.
The prevalence of dental injuries among football players has decreased to less than 3% in recent years because of mouthguards, which are now required by most major sports associations. Every athlete in a sport where there is a possible risk of contact is often mandated to wear a mouthguard.
The importance of mouthguards
A study from 2018 found that athletes who use mouth guards are between 82 and 93% less likely to sustain dental and orofacial injuries than players who do not.
When you practice and compete in sports, mouth guards are crucial for preventing damage to your teeth, your braces and other players. Mouthguards shield the teeth and jaw from damage such as fractures and knocked out or loose teeth. Wearing one could prevent you from making an emergency visit to the dentist. Additionally, mouthguards protect the teeth from impact during tackles and falls.
Even if wearing a mouthguard during the game is not required by your team, you can still choose to use one for your protection. Keep in mind that dental injuries and orofacial trauma don’t just affect star players. They can occur to anyone, therefore you should always protect yourself by wearing a mouth guard.
Types of mouthguards available
There are three basic types of mouth guards: stock guards, bite-and-boil guards, and custom-fitted guards. Let’s look into each type more closely:
- Stock mouthguards. Stock guards are usually available off the shelf at the nearby sporting goods store. The stock mouthguard is a ready-to-use guard made of a copolymer of vinyl acetate polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride. While this is a quick and inexpensive alternative, it is also one of the reasons why it is considered the least advantageous because it provides minimal protection. They can be bulky and difficult for the athlete to wear since they are a one-size-fits-all design. They are appropriate for low-intensity sports where there are fewer chances of a player being struck or punched in the face.
- Bite-and-boil mouthguards. This type is made of a thermoplastic rim that is softened by heating or boiling in hot water. After soaking the guard in hot water to soften the material, you bite into it and let it mold to your teeth. The biting process shapes the rim to the contours of the teeth and gums for a snug and comfortable fit. These mouthguards provide more protection than the stock ones.
- Custom-fit mouthguards. Custom-made mouthguards are designed from the mold of your teeth and offer the best fit and comfort. It involves taking impressions of your teeth and gums, and interesting thermoplastic material into it. By using ClearClub and our innovative self-impression kit, you can have your custom-fit mouth guards. Our custom mouth guards are made in the same way as those from your dentist’s office, but they don’t cost as much.