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If you or your child/children play a contact sport and a lot of us do, you are at risk of injuring your teeth.
Many sports have a contact risk whether it is from an accidental knee or elbow, the equipment used or as simple as a trip or fall. Teeth nearly always end up being involved………
How do we protect our pearly whites?
The best way is with a mouthguard. A correctly fitted mouthguard works by absorbing & spreading the impact of a blow to your mouth. They can protect you from some serious & expensive injuries, such as knocked out, fractured or broken teeth, broken jaws, cut lips & tongues. They really are a must & not just for the major contact sports like boxing, hockey or football. Even non-contact sports like netball, soccer & skateboarding carry a real risk of accidental collision or a fall.
So now we know how important a mouthguard is, let’s discuss the different kinds.
There are two types of mouthguards; over the counter & custom made ones.
These guards can be bought from most pharmacies & sports stores, they usually cost around $10 to $45.00. They come out of their packaging as a smooth pre-formed u-shaped tray which covers the top row of your teeth to stop the upper & lower teeth gnashing against each other. The most popular way to fit them is to “boil & bite”. This means that the guard is placed in hot water according to instructions allowing it to soften; it is then placed in the mouth & gently bitten on so it moulds to the wearers teeth. After the guard has cooled you can make adjustments as necessary by cutting with scissors.
A custom-made mouthguard is made specifically for the wearer. A dentist will usually make these types of mouthguards. You will need to make an appointment where the dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This is then poured up into a model. From this model your personalised mouthguard is made.
Custom made mouthguards are very durable & because they are made exactly to your teeth shape they are extremely comfortable. They last a long time, so unless you have a child who is in the process of their dentiton changing, a custom made mouthguard should last a few seasons.
Custom mouthguards cost around $165.00 but remember they also last a lot longer. Also, if you are in a health fund, some will cover the entire cost of one mouthguard per year as they regard them as preventive treatment. The item number is 151 if you would like to check with your fund. Other health funds give a considerable rebate which makes them more affordable.
So there you have it, the custom made mouthguard is far superior to its store bought counterpart and let’s face it we only get one set of permanent teeth so we really need to protect them as best we can.
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