How Mouth Guards Work (and Why They’re Important)

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Mouth guards are a highly recommended safety measure for anyone participating in sports, particularly contact sports. Some leagues even require their use.

A good mouth guard minimizes risk of injury and allows you or your child to enjoy the sport you love without seriously harming your teeth or tongue.

Before you go out and buy any mouth guard you see for sale, lets look get educated on what options are available to you, and help you make the right decision. After all, dental insurance in Australia lacks adequate funding for major dental procedures, so protecting your teeth should be a high priority.​

What Exactly is a Mouth Guard?

Mouth guards are made out of a highly flexible and durable material shaped to fit around the upper teeth so they cannot damage the lower teeth or soft areas of the mouth. This also provides some protection to the jaw and neck.

They serve the purpose of protecting your teeth and gums, however, they can also be used to correct teeth alignment issues.

What Types of Mouth Guards are Available?

There are three primary types of mouth guards: the stock/readymade model, the boil and bite, and custom mouth guards designed to fit a specific mouth. Choosing the right type of mouth guard is extremely important. As with any health decision, a one-size-fits-all solution is NOT recommended.

Stock mouth guards are usually quite cheap but may not fit well and can sometimes even make breathing difficult. Spending a little more here is really worth it to make sure your mouth guard is comfortable, tear resistant and easy to clean.

If you have braces or any other dental issues you should consult your dentist before getting a mouth guard. This may require you to purchase a custom mouth guard.​

What Does a High Quality Mouth Guard Cost?

Mouth guards come as cheap as $9.99 but these are usually not very high quality and are extremely uncomfortable to wear. If you want something that actually offers some measure of comfort you can expect to spend $40-60.

Some of the top brands sell their mouth guards for as much as $150, but there's usually no reason to spend this much on a mouth guard unless you're a professional athlete.​

What Injuries Does a Mouth Guard Prevent?

A good mouth guard protects against a whole host of injuries including broken or loose teeth, tongue lacerations caused by sudden biting, cheek lacerations and even jaw dislocation or fracture.

Some injuries may still occur in particularly rough sports but risk of injury is dramatically lowered by wearing a mouth guard.

Make sure the mouth guard fits you properly before you actually go out and start playing sports; a poorly fitting mouth guard can actually cause injury.

​If you're even considering participating in any contact sport or any sport that involves a severe risk of falling hard you should purchase a mouth guard. A custom mouth guard is essential for anyone who plays a contact sport regularly as this allows you to comfortably speak as well as preventing injury.

This article was provided by the team at Equipment For Sport, a leading resource for online sporting equipment reviews. Check them out!

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