The Importance of a Custom Fabricated Sports Guard
September 15, 2014 by Stefanie It’s still hard to believe that summer has come and gone once again! Now that fall is just around the corner, this is often the time when students start to participate in after-school sports. One of the most important (and often most overlooked) pieces of equipment for any student participating in a contact sport is a mouth guard that is custom fitted by your dental team.
Stock vs. Custom Sport Guards: • Stock mouth guards, which can be purchased in sporting goods and drug stores, come pre-formed and ready to wear. Although they’re the least expensive, they are also the worst fitting and least comfortable or protective. Made of rubber/ polyvinyl or thermoplastic “boil and bite” material, these pre-formed guards can be bulky, increase the tendency to gag, and make breathing and talking difficult because they require the jaw to be closed to hold them in place. When a fall or trauma to the face occurs while wearing a stock mouth guard, the force on the teeth does not become evenly distributed due to improper fit, and can often cause injury to the oral cavity.
• Custom-fitted mouth guards can be a bit more expensive than the other types of mouth guards, but they provide the greatest degree of fit, comfort and protection because they are made from a cast to precisely fit your teeth. Your dental team makes an impression of your teeth and uses the impression as a mold to create the custom-fitted mouth guard.Custom-fitted mouth guards are designed to cover all the teeth and can cushion against falls and blows to the chin. Some custom-fitted mouth guards have hard outer layers and soft inner linings for comfort against the teeth and gums, while some are made of acrylic. When a fall or trauma to the face occurs while wearing a custom sports guard, the force is evenly distributed throughout the oral cavity, and decreases the chance of injury to teeth or the surrounding tissues. Custom sport guards are also thought to decrease the risk for concussion because of their ability to dissipate force from an upward blow to the jaw, and their ability to separate the head of the condyle and glenoid fossa (parts of your jaw joint) If you have any questions regarding a custom sports guard, or would like to schedule an appointment to have one fabricated, don’t hesitate to give our office a call!