Sports Mouthguards

A split lip will heal but broken teeth won't.

Did you know that teeth are the least able part of the human body to repair themselves after an injury? The dental treatment required to repair damaged teeth or replace missing teeth is both time consuming and expensive.

If you or your child participates in any kind of physical sport there's a risk of dental damage. Mouthguards (sometimes known as gum shields) are like the crash helmets of teeth and are almost universally worn in contact sports such as:

  • Boxing
  • Rugby
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial Arts

Being accidentally caught in the face by a squash racket or hockey stick, can cause more damage to the teeth than any blow from a boxing glove. That's why mouthguards are worn the by members of the England Rugby team, It is important that mouthguards are always worn by children who wear a fixed brace as a blow to the face can cause lacerations to the soft tissues of the inside of the mouth if they come into contact with the wirework of the brace.

There are two types of mouthguards (Gumshields or Toothguards) available:

Boil and Bite Mouthguards/Gumshields/Toothguards

These are available in sports and chemist shops and may be placed in boiling water and then moulded to the tooth arch. However they tend to thin out in the very areas where protection is required and also be of a loose fit which during exertion may cause them to become dislodged and trapped in the sports players airway causing suffocation.

Toothguard and gumshield are very much the old fashioned name for mouthguards. The word gumshield was mainly used by boxers and the word toothguard was mainly used by dentists. Both these words toothguard and gumshield have been replaced by the word mouthguard.

Custom-made Sports Mouthguards

These are the preferred type as they are custom-made to moulds taken of the players upper and lower tooth arches by a dentist. Custom-made sports mouthguards are made by using several layers of different plastics which are pressure laminated together like laminated glass so as to make a very impact absorbing mouthguard.

For instance, a 'heavy type' mouthguard contains 'resilient energy transmission lines' which are placed over the delicate areas of the biting surfaces of the teeth and will rebound and accelerate the transmission of the destructive energy away from the site of impact thus enhancing the mouthguards protection of the teeth.

Mouthguards and Current Legislation

Mouthguards, (Gumshields or Toothguards) come under the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) legislation.

Manufacturers of Mouthguards/Gumshields and Toothguards must comply with this piece of legislation and demonstrate this by permanently sealing the CE mark in its recognisable form of black print on a white background within the mouthguard (Gumshield or Toothguard).

For further information, advice or to make an appointment regarding custom-made sports mouthguards, contact a member of the Dove Holistic Dental Centre team.