A sports mouth guard protects teeth and surrounding structures
In a nutshell, this is how a sports mouth guard works: By distributing and spreading the impact energy and force over a wider area, tooth fractures or bite wounds are significantly reduced.
A good mouth guard therefore needs to be made of an elastic material that is also sufficiently rigid to distribute the pressure. The mouth guard
must also be biocompatible and fit securely in the mouth. It must also be durable and be easy to handle. It is very important that the athlete’s breathing, speech and performance are not negatively affected by wearing the device. Ready-made mouth guards that are readily available in stores may not meet all these requirements as well as they should.
However, an individually designed sports mouth guard, that is manufactured in the dental laboratory and dental practice, will meet all of these requirements of the athlete. An individually designed sports mouth guard, that is specifically designed and adapted to the athlete’s mouth, will preserve teeth, oral mucosa, tongue, lips, jaws and the temporomandibular joints optimally against injuries. Even the risk of a concussion will be reduced significantly.
Therefore, the professionally manufactured individual mouth guard does a much better job of protecting the athlete’s teeth, gums, tongue and alveolar ridge from injury. Patients are impressed by the high level of comfort and the snug and comfortable fit. It sits firmly on the teeth, allows normal breathing and the position of the jaw is not affected. After a short period of acclimatisation to get used to the mouth guard, the athlete will even be able to speak normally. In children the mouth guard can be adapted to newly erupting teeth or any orthodontic appliances that the child is wearing.
Variants of the sports mouth guard
The design of the individual sports mouth guard is based on an impression, or a ‘situational model’, that is individually made of the patient’s mouth. The specialised provider and partner for dentists and dental technicians is the Erkodent company, and with Playsafe different variants of the mouth guard are available as recommended. An ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is used as the material for manufacturing sports mouth guards. It is nontoxic, highly elastic and chemically inert.
The sports mouth guard consists of at least two laminated layers with a bite for the lower jaw. Depending on the oral status of the athlete and the type of sport being practised, four different variants of thickness of the layers are available.
1. The 2-layer light sports mouth guard
This mouth guard is recommended for smaller mouths, ie for children, and for sports where a helmet protects the midface area. It is also suitable for contactless sports. The light sports mouth guard is suitable for the following sports: gymnastics, biking, basketball, soccer, horse riding, handball, water polo and motocross.
2. The 2-layer medium sports mouth guard medium
This mouth guard is recommended for adults practising sports with ‘flat strokes’, so it is suitable for the following sports: boxing, biking, basketball, football, judo, wrestling, horse riding, handball, water polo, motocross.
3. The 3-layer light-pro sports mouth guard
This mouth guard is ideal for sports that feature very hard, small-area blows when the mouth is cramped. The 3-layer light-pro sports mouth guard is suitable for sports like ice hockey, field hockey, squash, polo, rollerblading, kickboxing, karate and rugby.
4. The 3-layer heavy-pro sports mouth guard
The 3-layer heavy-pro mouth guard is recommended for adults practising sports with very hard, small-area hits. It is therefore suitable for ice hockey, field hockey, squash, polo, rollerblading, kickboxing, karate and rugby.
Individual design of the sports mouth guard
The acceptance of athletes of a sports mouth guard increases with comfort and appearance, therefore they will be happier with one that is individually designed for them as it will guarantee a higher degree of comfort. As regards appearance, the dentist will take the preferences of the wearer into account. A sports mouth guard can also be individualised as a wide range of colours is available.
So it is even possible to make a multicoloured design if the patient wants it!
Some of the best Boxing Mouth guards
This single piece mouth guard by Venum is made for boxing and martial arts. It is a “boil and bite” style, designed for you to heat the guard and form it to your mouth. This is one of the most popular mouthguards available and many say the best mouthguard for martial arts. More info here.
This Aero model Sisu mouth guard is one of the thinnest available on the market. You can talk, breathe and even drink with the mouthguard in place. It stays secure and won’t fall out, in fact some say it is too secure and find it a challenge to remove. The guard does not go so far back into the mouth that it causes gagging, which is nice. More info here.
Impact Custom Professional
This kit is for a truly made custom mouth guard. Once you order the kit, they send you what you need to make a mold of your teeth, you send the mold back on their dime and they mail you your custom mouthguard, all at a price much lower than the dentist. More info here.
Under Armour ArmourFit
This single piece boil and bite mouth guard is as easy as it gets, they can even be heated in a mug in the microwave. It has a low profile because it is just one piece, which makes breathing and talking easier when you are wearing it. More info here.
This heavy duty double mouth guard is one of the top boxing mouth guards. It is soft and shock absorbing on the inside, firm and shock dispersing on the outside, plus in covers top and bottom teeth and is the boil and bite style so you can get a perfect fit. More info here.