Every year thousands of children are treated for dental injuries. Most of which occur during sport and could have been prevented (or the severity minimised) by wearing a protective mouthguard.
The damage caused by not wearing a mouthguard during sport could cause a serious risk of injury such as; a broken jaw, fractured, cracked or knocked-out teeth, cut lips and tongues1.
These sporting injuries can occur during obvious sports such as football, boxing and rugby, and also during collision sports where unexpected contact often happens. These include basketball, hockey, water polo, lacrosse, netball, baseball, softball, squash, soccer, BMX bike riding, horse riding, skateboarding, in-line skating, trampolining, cricket (wicket keeping or batting without a helmet) and water skiing racing.
Why do you need a mouthguard?
A mouthguard can help absorb and spread the impact of a blow to the face, which might otherwise result in an injury to the mouth or jaw.
As mentioned, a heavy collision can result in a range of permanent and temporary damage such as; chipped or broken teeth, internal damage to a tooth, tooth loss, injuries to the soft tissue of the mouth, and, in severe cases, concussion or a broken jaw.
These injuries could result in time off school or work to recover, be painful and disfiguring, and may involve lengthy and complex dental treatment to restore teeth and the mouth back to normal function and appearance.
When making the decision to either invest in a mouthguard or not, it’s important to consider the cost of an injury to your teeth or jaw if an injury did take place. The cost of a custom-fitted mouthguard is significantly smaller than the cost of any temporary or permanent damage to your teeth caused by impact.
When should I wear a mouthguard?
Mouthguards should be worn whilst playing and training for any sport that could involve contact to the face.
Other mouthguards can also be designed to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching while you sleep. To learn more about this specific type of mouthguard contact your local Queensland Country Dentist.
Other Mouthguard Tips:
- The Australian Dental Association (ADA) and QueenslandCountry Dental recommend that only a professionally-fitted custom mouthguard should be worn. This means a mouthguard is made specifically to fit the exact contours of your teeth by a dental professional. Custom-fitted mouthguards stay firmly in place and still allow you to breathe and talk with ease, unlike the ‘boil and bite’ versions available from the chemist.
- Check your mouthguard every time you wear it for fit and protection. Take it to your dental check-ups so that your dentist can ensure it is still providing optimal protection for your teeth. This is particularly important when children are in the mixeddentition stage between baby and adult teeth. As adult teeth come though, mouthguards will need to be replaced to ensure a close fit is maintained.
- Take care of your mouthguard for the long term by keeping it out of the sun, washing it in cold water after use, air dry, and store in a rigid container away from heat to ensure it maintains its shape.
For more information on this benefit and what might be paid under your Queensland Country Health Fund cover, please contact our friendly team on 1800 813 415.
1. Australian Dental Association. 2021. “Mouthguards” Accessed, https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Adults-31-64/Mouthguards