"All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth"
The American Dental Association recommends that children, teenagers and even adults who are active in sports wear custom fabricated mouthguards, also known as Sportsguards. The National Youth Sports Foundation estimates that in this year alone more than 5 million teeth will be knocked out in sporting activities. The estimated cost for lifetime rehabilitation of a sport-related dental injury can be close to several thousand dollars per tooth. This means that the cost to replace a single knocked-out tooth may be more than twenty times the cost of a custom-laminated, professional-grade mouthguard.
Why a custom mouthguard over a stock mouthguard?
Many sports shops sell stock "boil and bite" mouthguards to be worn during athletic activities. Unfortunately, these are far from ideal: they usually do not fit accurately, are uncomfortable to wear while active, and often interfere with breathing and speaking abilities while participating in active sports. Without an accurate fit, unnecessary pressure can be placed on certain teeth, fail to guard against injury by being too loose, or slip in the mouth. Additionally, if a mouthguard is ill fitting and uncomfortable, the wearer is far less likely to wear the mouthguard resulting in a waste of time or money. However, even if the wearer does wear the stock mouthguard, they may be given a false sense of security by believing that the stock mouthguard is protecting their teeth as well as a custom mouthguard. Of course, neither the stock mouthguards nor custom sportsguards should be confused with the occlusal mouthguards, also known as nightguards, which many patients wear at night. While they appear similar, they are designed for a different purpose and do not provide the protection a custom sportsguard provides.
Our office has been making custom sportsguards for years. Currently we use "Play-safe," an affordable professional-grade mouthguard base designed specifically to be worn while playing sports. The sportsguards come in 4 different styles, each designed for specific type of sport including football, volleyball, mountain biking, roller blading, martial arts, basketball, soccer, and even skateboarding. They come in a wide range of colors as well as multicolored blends for those who want a little style when they smile. Each sportsguard is custom fitted to the wearer and their sport activity to insure an accurate, comfortable, and safe fit.