Why are mouthguards important for Easter? Well, it’s a bit hard to eat Easter chocolates with broken teeth…
No, we’re not suggesting Easter Egg hunts should be classified as contact sports. But many sports your child plays do have a risk of contact and therefore a risk of injuring their teeth. Aside from the expense and difficulty of treating these kinds of injuries, they will put a serious damper on your Easter celebrations!
Generic Versus Custom Mouthguards
Did you know that nearly 1/3 of orofacial and dental injuries are sports-related?! If you are the parent of a budding athlete, you already know it is essential to have a mouthguard if your child is playing a sport that requires one. However, we frequently get asked why it is necessary to invest in a custom mouthguard instead of simply purchasing a generic one.
Mouthguards provide important protection from some serious sporting injuries caused by intentional or accidental collisions. Injuries such as broken jaws, cracked or knocked-out teeth, and cut lips and tongues.
All mouthguards are designed to absorb and spread the impact of a blow to the face, which may otherwise result in an injury to the mouth or jaw. But it’s important to know that not all mouthguards are created equally.
Boil and Bite Mouthguard
Boil and Bite (B&B) or generic mouthguards seem simple enough to use. Measure and cut the mouthguard to size. Boil it in water to soften the plastic and then just place it in your mouth and mould it to fit. And at an average cost of just $40 compared to $175 for a custom-made mouthguard, it’s hard to argue with the price. Right?
So, what’s the problem? Well, there are actually several. Let’s take a look…
First, B&B mouthguards simply can’t be tailored to your exact mouth and teeth shape. This means they mostly tend to be uncomfortable and ill-fitting which increases the risk of being constantly removed due to discomfort. They are also made from thinner, less durable plastics which combined with the looser fit means they can impede breathing and speaking. And they just don’t protect your teeth as well as a custom mouthguard. You’ll also have to replace them more often, so that cheaper initial price will certainly start to add up!
In contrast, a custom made mouthguard doesn’t sacrifice comfort for function. It is fabricated based on an impression of your teeth and jaw taken by your dentist and built to fit your teeth perfectly. Because it is an exact and comfortable fit, there’s less chance your child will remove the mouthguard due to discomfort. A custom mouthguard is also made from thicker, more durable plastic, which lasts longer and provides better protection for your teeth. This means less chance of injury and you won’t have to replace it as often as a B&B mouthguard.
The right choice?
While a generic mouthguard might be better than no mouthguard at all, the best option for athletes, young and old alike, is to invest in the superior protection and comfort that a custom mouthguard provides.