Custom mouth guards are well-known for preventing broken teeth and other mouth injuries for student athletes. Thankfully, we now have evidence that a mouth guard custom-made by a dentist can reduce the risk of concussion as well!
With the rising concerns about brain injuries in sports, this makes a custom mouth guard an even more vital piece of every student athlete’s safety equipment.
Custom-made mouth guards outperform over-the-counter mouth guards
According to a 2014 study by the Academy of General Dentistry, “high school football players wearing store-bought, over-the-counter (OTC) mouthguards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI) or concussions than those wearing custom-made, properly fitted mouthguards.” Further research is needed, but these initial results suggest an important safety benefit.
Custom mouthguards aren’t just for football players
This 2014 study focuses on football, but we recommend that student athletes in most sports wear mouthguards. We’ve even seen a weightlifter who broke a tooth during an especially energetic clean and jerk!
Next to football, baseball is the sport where we see the most injuries to the teeth. Most people don’t think of baseball as a contact sport but the injuries can still be severe. The surprises on the ball field are many: errant swings of the bat, wild pitches, bad bounces, and fast-moving line drives can all injure students. Parents, make sure your child is protected!
Custom fit and design make a difference for student athletes
An over-the-counter mouthguard is better than nothing, but the customized fit and design of a mouthguard that we make here at Gladstone Family Dentistry is far better. A custom mouthguard is more comfortable and lasts longer, even for children who have braces. If the mouthguard is comfortable, your son or daughter is more likely to actually wear it.
Custom mouthguards are also thicker to provide more shock absorption, an average of 3.50 millimeters of protective material compared to just 1.65 in over-the-counter mouthguards, according to the study. Here at GFD, we also customize a mouthguard for the sport it will be used in. For example, a football mouthguard would feature more material between the teeth, whereas a baseball mouthguard would be thicker around the outside of the teeth.
Make an appointment today!
A custom mouthguard is an important investment in your child’s long-term health and safety. A well-fitted mouthguard made personally for your child provides the best protection, far better than an over-the-counter mouthguard from the sporting goods store. And, we can make mouthguards in custom colors! Even your teeth can have team spirit!