Le Mouthguard Expose: Custom Fit Mouthguard

It’s been a very long while since I last posted on the blog, and for that I am truly sorry! This is a piece that we wrote earlier this year that’d we’d like to share with you, on mouthguards and sports oral/facial injuries! More new stuff to come later this week!  – Dr. Blum

Le Mouthguard Expose: Custom Fit Mouthguards

It’s  true:  any  athlete  who  plays  a  sport  involving  any  contact  play or  that  has  high  risk  of  sudden  impacts, recreational  or competitive,  should  wear  a  mouthguard.  Properly  diagnosed,  designed,  and  custom fabricated  mouthguards  are  truly essential  in  the  prevention  of  athletic  oral/facial  and brain trauma injuries.  The  $1.99  boil-­and-­mold  mouthguards  can be  convenient  and  are  inexpensive,  and  we  won’t argue  that  that,  in-­and-­of-­itself,  can  be  a  legitimate  reason  to  stick with that type of mouthguard. The boil-and-mold mouthguards do not make  the  cut  for  us,  however. There’s no comparison in function…

The  American  Dental  Association (ADA)  estimates  that  mouthguards  prevent  approximately  200,000   injuries  each  year  in  high  school  and  collegiate  football  alone.  From  an  elbow  to  the  face,  a  body-­check that   dislocates  the  jaw,  eating  mat,  or  accidentally  catching  a  softball  with  your  mouth  even  in  sports we  don’t   typically  consider  to  be  ‘contact  sports’,  the  risk  of  oral/head  injury  is  always  present.

Here  are  some  more  of  Dr.  Blum’s  thoughts  on  mouthguards:

Q:  What’s  the  good  of  wearing  mouthguards?

For  one,  mouthguards  act  as  shock-­absorbers.  When  someone  wearing  a  mouthguard  takes  a  hit  to  the   mouth,  the  mouthguard  absorbs  a  lot  of  the  shock  itself  so  that  the  teeth  and  teeth  joints  (where  the teeth   connect  to  the  jaw  bones)  don’t  get  knocked  loose,  and  also  to  minimize  the  risk  of  concussion. Also,  when someone  is  wearing  a  mouthguard,  their  upper  and  lower  teeth  are  usually  stabilized  against the  mouthguard   to  some  extent  or  another.  This  helps  keep  the  jaw  properly  positioned  and  when receiving  an  impact,  the   mouthguard  reinforces  that  proper  positioning  of  the  jaw  joint  (aka  the  TMJ  -­ temporomandibular  joint)  and   lowers  the  risk  of  jaw  dislocation.  Furthermore,  with  the  proper  bite  and proper  positioning  of  the  jaw   (facilitated  by  wearing  a  mouthguard),  the  airflow  passageways  are  best  positioned  to  function  at  full   capacity  and  more  efficiently  bring  oxygen  to  the  body.

Q:  What’s  the  advantage  of  custom-­fit sport mouthguards?

Custom  made  mouthguards  actually  fit  properly  and  cover  all  of  your  teeth.  They’re  designed  to  be  thick enough  in  all  the  right  places,  so  they  can  act  as  shock  absorbers  at  all  the  correct  angles.  They  can  also  be   designed  to  maintain  your  jaw’s  proper  positioning,  which  as  mentioned  above  can  make  taking  in  oxygen during  sport  more  efficient.  At  the  same  time,  any  good  athlete  on  a  team  sport  knows  that  in  most  cases, vocal  communication  on  the  field  is  a  key  element  to  any  cohesive  team.  Custom  fit  mouthguards  are designed  to  protect  AND  enable  fluid  vocal  communication,  and  are  nothing  like  the  $1.99  awkward  pieces  of   rubber  many  people  have  come  to  associate  with  the  standard  for  what  mouthguards  are.  With  them  you  don’t  have to  worry  about  whether  your  mouthguard  is  going  to  pop  out  when  you’re  talking  to  teammates  and  coordinating  the defense.

Q:  Tell  us  a  story!

I’ll  keep  it  short.  Just  think:  baseball  to  the  mouth,  concussion,  cracked  teeth,  crowns,  bonding,  back  in  to  braces  for   several  more  years,  and  a  whole  lot  of  owie.  That’s  a  lot  of  pain,  frustration  and  a  lot  of  money.  The  custom  fit   mouthguard  is  the  smart  investment  and  is  worth  it—believe  me.

Ellicott City Smiles is a certified provider of Under ArmourBite Custom Fit Mouthguards, in addition to designing our own Custom Fit Mouthguards.

Have more questions about mouthguards or sport injuries? Ask us!

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