The Super Bowl is over. That means an end to football season, right? Wrong. Many high schools and colleges start spring training to prepare for the fall season. While the athletes may not be in full dress, they are wearing protective gear, including their mouthguards.
I am a proponent of the athletic mouthguard. Athletes should wear mouthguards because collisions are unavoidable in some sports, and accidents happen in all sports. There are several types of athletic mouthguards and with that, different degrees of protection.
The stock mouthguard: These can be purchased at sporting goods stores, are limited in size, and are the least protective. They stay in place by the athlete biting down on it. They are bulky, uncomfortable, interfere with speech and breathing, but offer some protection.
Boil-and-bite mouthguard: This is one of the most common mouthguards on the market. They, too, are limited in size and may not cover the back teeth. This mouthguard is softened in hot water, placed between the teeth, and molded to fit your bite when pressure is applied. While some people like boil-and-bite mouthguards, others find them ill-fitting and bulky. Athletes often bite through this mouthguard during the forming and fitting, thus increasing their chance of injury.
Custom-made mouthguard: This is the best choice of mouthguard, because it is specially made for the athlete’s mouth. When creating a custom mouthguard, I take an impression first, then fabricated the appliance to fit the athlete’s bite and mouth shape. The thickness is uniform, which increases comfort and protection. Custom-made mouthguards also offer more protection against concussions, jaw fractures, and neck injuries.
I’m Dr. Brian Evans of Wager Evans Dental. If you are interested in a custom fitted mouthguard, please contact my Reno office at (775)829-7700. These necessary parts of your athletic equipment are reasonably priced and should be worn for all sports. Bottom line is, with a comfortable mouthguard, you’ll be better protected and more likely to wear the appliance.