A mouthguard is a rubber-like cover which fits exactly over your teeth and gums, cushioning them and protecting them from damage. Mouthguards typically cover the upper teeth, and are designed to protect against broken teeth, cut lips and other damage to your mouth. If you wear braces or other fixed dental appliances on your lower jaw, you may also need a mouth protector for these teeth as well.
Mouthguards are an essential when playing sports that involve physical contact. Many international dental health organisations including the Australian Dental Association advise parents whose children play contact sports to get their child fitted with a mouthguard to help protect against unwanted accidents. Mouth guards don’t just protect your teeth, they can also prevent broken and dislocated jaws as well as concussions and cerebral haemorrhages.
Using a Mouthguard
We recommend the following guidelines for using a mouthguard.
Don’t share mouthguards. They should only be worn by the player for whom have been made.
Don’t store a mouthguard where it may be subject to excessive heat build-up which may cause it to distort. During use, take mouthguard out after quarter/half of play; rinse it and your mouth with water before re-inserting. At the end of play rinse you mouth with water, wash mouthguard with soap and warm (not hot) water then rinse it with cold water.
Store the mouthguard in its container when not used. The container should have ventilation holes that allow the guard to dry and encourage air circulation preventing any unpleasant odour and smell.
Before physical activity check their dry mouthguard in good light for any visible tears, particularly where the mouthguard material is thin or has worn away. Also they should run a finger along the non-fitting surface to identify any rough areas that may indicate splits or cracks of the guard. This surface must be checked for similar damage following any heavy blow to the mouth or jaw.
Fitting a Mouthguard
Paramount Dental Sydney recommends that anyone (especially children) playing contact sports use a mouthguard. We offer a range of mouthguards here at our Sydney clinic. Also remember that every mouthguard need to fit the mouth exactly so the teeth and gums are properly protected, so please contact us to ensure your child’s mouthguard fits perfectly.
Medicare rebates and Healthcare cover may cover some of the costs associated with a new mouthguard.