When you are selecting your athletic mouthguards, there are a few things that you will want to remember. First, some sports are more dangerous than others. Football, for example, has a high rate of injury to the mouth when mouthguards are not worn. When they are worn, this percentage drops below one percent. Alternatively, in sports like basketball, where athletic mouthguards are not always worn, approximately 35% of injuries are to the mouth or teeth. For this reason, dentists strongly recommend that athletic mouthguards be worn for any contact sport in order to prevent injury and costly tooth repairs.
When you are having your athletic mouthguard crafted, there are a few qualities that athletes are most interested in. Custom-made, properly fitting athletic mouthguards are comfortable to wear, tear resistant, do not interfere with breathing and speech, and maintain its shape, fit, and thickness when worn. For football players, it may also be important for the mouthguard to have a helmet strap.
There are two basic types of mouthguards. The first is stock mouthguards (or store bought). These are a very basic mouthguard that athletes can keep on hand should their custom-made, fitted mouthguards break or suffer damage through play. These come in limited sizes and shapes, and are often used as a temporary measure until a custom mouthguard can be fashioned. Unlike high-quality custom-made mouthguards, stock guards have a very limited lifespan and are often thrown away after as little as a week of use.
The second basic type of mouthgard is a custom-made mouthguards. These are the best type for any athlete. These are only made by dentists and require two simple appointments. They can be made in various colors, with or without helmet straps, and are very comfortable. As a general rule, custom-made mouthguards can last anywhere between one to two years of active use, depending on how much growth occurs in the athletes face and jaws. It is not uncommon for athletes to have several mouthguards made at one time in order to ensure they have a spare available if required.
When you are trying to determine which type is best for your needs, it is always best to consult your dentist. Dr. McEntire and Dr. Marek of Hutto Premier Dentistry can provide you with all of the information you need to make a knowledgeable decision on what type of athletic mouthguares is best for your needs.