Sports mouthguards are custom-made rubber coverings worn over your teeth to protect them from damage in contact and ball-based sports. They cushion the teeth and gums and help to avoid chipped and broken teeth.
You should wear a professionally-made sports mouthguard at all times when playing any sport involving either moving objects or physical contact.
Being hit in the mouth by a ball in such sports as football, cricket or hockey can lead to serious damage to your teeth, including broken and lost teeth, while sports in which you come into contact with other players, such as rugby, American football and boxing, can also lead to damaged, broken or dislocated jaws.
Sports mouthguards provide cushioning to protect against such injuries. Professional sportspeople can often be seen wearing mouthguards for this reason.
- First, your dentist will measure and take impressions of your teeth and gums and send these to the lab so your sportsguard can be made to fit you perfectly.
- The lab will make up the sportsguard to your dentist's specifications.
- Your dentist will check the guard fits properly. You should wear it at all times playing or training for sports.
Sportsguards should be worn by adults and children. Children's mouthguards will need regular replacement as their teeth and jaws grow. You should check regularly that your child's mouthguard still fits, and see your dentist for a replacement if it has become loose or tight-fitting.
Adults will also need to replace their mouthguards periodically due to wear and tear.