Essential Protective Gear – Athletic Mouthguard
The Athletic mouthguard has come a very long way from the beginning where a mouthguard was block of rubber gum. However, the purpose remains the same to protect the mouth and jaw from trauma during sports. The first athletic mouthguards were reportedly used for boxing but have gradually become popular in any sport where there is danger of trauma to the mouth.
Athletic mouthguards are mandatory in many professional competitions including martial arts, soccer, and boxing. Schools and junior teams may also require the use of the athletic mouthguard to protect young athlete’s teeth and mouth.
Although the original mouthguards were bulky and fitted poorly in the mouth, they did provide some protection. Today there are designs that are more advanced and materials and the protection provided by these devices is far superior. There are three different types of athletic mouthguards available but many variations between the types.
The most well fitted and secure of all is the dentist fitted custom athletic mouthguard. A dentist fits these protective devices after a brief and painless visit. The impression is then sent to the manufacturer’s lab where a mouth guard is especially made of acrylic for that athlete’s mouth. Choices in colors and in applied logos are available from better manufacturers. However, the real appeal is that these athletic mouthguards fit snugly. Dentist fitted mouthguards do not interfere with speaking or breathing as less well fitted types made of inferior materials might.
There are some types of athletic mouthguards called boil and bite. These mouthguards are home fitted and although better than no protection, this choice doesn’t usually seat as securely and can thin during the fitting process leaving the lips or jaw or teeth more vulnerable to damage.
The final type of athletic mouth guard is called off the shelf or stock. This type of mouthguard allows only trimming to fit and provides the least protection in most cases. Athletes take their equipment seriously and you would almost never see a professional player wearing anything but a dentist fitted custom mouth guard. That is because with many sports no matter how enjoyable they are, there is also the risk of injury to the mouth or jaw. Because losing a tooth to a sports accident is not only expensive but also time consuming most athletes and clubs prefer to avoid injuries with a protective mouthpiece.
Junior sports leagues, schools and other athletic organizers will often require young athletes wear athletic mouth guards during practice and competitions. Growing bones and teeth can easily be injured in the heat of intense competition or game play and the mouth guard protects against some types of traumas.
The flashy variety of colors appeal to both young and more mature athletes and mouthpieces are also engraved with the owner’s name. Some companies can apply Logos and school colors so that the athletic mouth guard matches the school or team colors exactly. This is a novel way to encourage wearing an athletic mouth guard as well as to show off their team’s colors.