Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Custom Made Mouth Guards


Custom Made Mouthguards

Most athletic trainers have worked alongside a football team and have dealt with the frustrations of mouthguards. From an athlete constantly dropping or losing their mouthguards to cutting them too short or chewing on them like a piece of gum, athletic trainers have seen it all. Most athletes hate wearing them because they are uncomfortable and annoying but they do not understand why they are so important. It is common for athletes use the store bought mouth pieces that you heat in boiling water then bite down on to mold to your mouth, although research shows that custom made mouth guards have been shown to be significantly better.  Here are a few reasons why custom made mouthguards are crucial to the sport:
  • Help Prevent Oral Injuries
    • Over 5 million teeth are knocked out annually during sports and recreational activities.
    • Athletes have a 33-56% chance of receiving an orofacial injury during their playing career.1
  • Help Prevent Brain Injuries
    • They help to absorb shock, stabilize the head and neck, and limit movement caused by a direct hit to the jaw to prevent concussions.
    • A study found that football players wearing store-bought mouthguards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injuries than those wearing properly fitted, custom mouthguards.2
  • Communication During Play
    • Custom made mouthguards allow athletes to speak clearer and provide optimal oxygen flow preventing the athlete from needing to remove them during play.1
With the evolution of custom made mouthguards and the reasons listed above it should persuade any parent, coach, or athletic trainer to provide athletes with custom made mouth guards if able.

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1 comment:

  1. Great read! When I played I always used the good ol' store bought mouth pieces. I had no idea that there was that much of difference between custom and generic. Good info for future athletes that I may coach.

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