Athletic Mouth Guards In Sports

Athletic Mouth Guards In Sports

By simply failing to wear a mouth guard while playing sports, you increase your odds of experiencing an injury to your mouth by about 60 times. Common mouth injuries include loss of teeth and jaw fractures. These injuries are both painful and serious, and often require surgeries and days or weeks of recovery. What’s worse is that even a poor mouth guard choice might not save you from these problems. Below is a glance at things you should keep an eye out for when purchasing an athletic mouth guard in order to keep your mouth safe.

All Sentinel Custom Athletic Mouth Guards are:

  • Custom fit to your unique dental anatomy

  • Highest-quality, dentist-grade materials 

  • Offers better protection than store bought guards
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  • BPA, Silicone & Latex Free
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Recommended Thicknesses Of Mouth Guards In Sports

There about two dozen sports that experts believe require the use of a mouth guard. These sports include football, boxing, basketball, rugby, soccer, wrestling, acrobatics, hockey, martial arts, skiing, handball, lacrosse, badminton and several others. For obvious reasons, these sports do not require the same level of mouth protection. For instance, it would be unthinkable for anyone to get into a boxing ring without a mouth guard. On the other hand, many people avoid using a mouth guard altogether when engaging in racquetball games.

mouth guard for martial arts

Essentially, contact sports such as martial arts, boxing, wrestling and so forth require you to use thick mouth guards. Non-contact sports such as tennis and swimming can be played with thin mouth guards. However, the absolute minimum thickness for a sports mouth guard should be around 1.5 mm. For contact sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts, a mouth guard that is at least 4 mm thick would be more ideal. With non-contact sports like lacrosse and softball, a 2 mm mouth guard can get the job done. For a sport like hockey and football, a 3 mm mouth guard is adequate. Basically, the necessary thickness depends on the risk of mouth injury a particular sport presents to the player.

Why Custom-made Mouth Guards Are The Best

For the best kind of protection, a custom mouth guard is clearly the best way to go. Everybody’s mouth is different, which means you should have a mouth guard made with you in mind in order to get the special protection your mouth requires. One of the key factors to consider when wearing a mouth guard is how well it fits in your mouth.

Because of a better fit, a custom mouth guard will be better placed to keep you from getting injured during sports. A better fitted mouth guard also offers considerably better comfort. Stock mouth guards are often large, uncomfortable, poorly fitted and will even affect your breathing. These are all problems you can do without as you engage in high-energy sports such as basketball and boxing.

athletic mouth guards in sports

The other benefit of custom mouth guards is that they are generally of better quality than their generic off-shelf counterparts. Generic mouth guards have been known to damage people’s mouths especially with extended periods of use. This clearly defeats the very purpose of wearing a mouth guard in the first place. With a bulky and uncomfortable mouth guard, you will also have a harder time speaking, which can be a problem in sports such as basketball and football where constant communication with other players is completely critical. Only a custom mouth guard can keep you from this serious setback.

Depending on your sport of choice, the custom mouth guard can also vary in thickness. In high contact sports such as martial arts where more protection is required, you can ask for a thick mouth guard. On the other hand, if you consider a mouth guard more of a formality than a functional sports accessory, you can also ask for a thinner custom mouth guard when placing your order.

Thin v. Thick Mouth Guards

Beyond a certain thickness, a mouth guard begins to get uncomfortable. All this depends on how thick the mouth guard is. In general, the thinner the mouth guard, the more comfortable it will be to wear. But even while chasing optimal comfort, you have to keep in mind that the whole point of a mouth guard is to protect your mouth from impact, and a thin mouth guard will not do this as well as a thick mouth guard will.

In general, studies have indicated that the optimal thickness for a mouth guard is around 4 mm. Any thickness below this point causes slight improvements in comfort, but it also brings about considerably compromises in the level of protection the mouthpiece offers. On the other hand, with a thickness greater than 4 mm, the level of protection increases slightly, but the level of discomfort increases at an even greater pace. But generally speaking, any mouth guard thicker than 3 mm is considered a thick.

At the end of the day, the best thickness in a mouth guard is that which lets you play your sport safely. Some sports are a lot rougher than others. For instance, when playing basketball, elbows are going to end up in your face, and a stronger mouth guard will be necessary. That also means a thicker mouth guard would be better. For a sport like weightlifting, a thinner mouth guard might do, but only because not as much mouth protection will be necessary.

Cost Implications

Clearly, a custom mouth guard is the way to go, but at what cost should you expect this important sporting accessory? A typical dental office can ask for as much as $500 for a custom mouth guard. This is certainly not a small expense. Fortunately, you also have the option of using an online store to get dental DIY dental molds which you can use to help create your own custom mouth guard.

By using the online option, the cost of a custom mouth guard can be reduced to as little as $100, and this is without having to deal with any trade off with regard to quality. The reason behind this considerable discrepancy in price is because with an online store, you are sent a kit with which to create your bite impression and send it back to have the custom mouth guard made for you.

If you opt for the boil and bite version of mouth guards, you will pay as little as little as $20. This kind of mouth guard is the cheapest you can find. Also, these mouth guards are typically around 3 mm thick.

Conclusion

Athletic Mouth Guards In Sports

In many sports, both contact and non-contact, it is absolutely critical to wear a mouth guard to avoid serious injuries. However, your choice of mouth guard is just as important. The best option is to get a custom mouth guard. Not only is a custom mouth guard better at protecting the mouth and the jaw, but it is also more comfortable and allows for improved breathing during the game. If cost is an issue, you can always get your custom mouth guard from an online store as opposed to a traditional dentist’s office. You could also opt for a boil and bite mouth guard, but the quality will not match what a custom version has to offer.