What is a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is an oral appliance that is used to prevent damage to the teeth and supporting structures when a person is involved in any activity or sport that could result in an accidental blow to the mouth.
Reasons to use a Mouthguard
All athletes(both children and adults) that participate in sports should use mouthguards. There are several reasons why it is recommended: To reduce the incidence of trauma and injury to the mouth. To reduce or avoid broken teeth. To reduce the risk of tooth loss from a blow to the mouth.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three types of mouthguards:
Custom made mouthguards.
Formed in the mouth.
The custom mouthguard is the best fitting and the most comfortable to wear. It is also the one that affords the most protection to the teeth in the event of a blow to the mouth or face. It is usually made by a dentist after taking a mold of the person's teeth. This is the most expensive of the three, but if comfort is paramount, it is the one to get.
The second choice is a mouthguard that is formed in the mouth. It is usually obtained at sporting goods and department stores, and provides a couple of mouthguards in stock form that you need to immerse in hot water until moldable, and then place in your mouth while it is soft and follow the instructions on how to fit it properly by molding it while it is in the mouth. This mouthguard gives adequate protection and is less expensive than the custom fitted one described above.
The prefabricated mouthguard is the least expensive of the three types described, but it is bulky and uncomfortable, and therefore it does not get worn. It is almost never(never say never) recommended.