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If you participate in contact sports, such as rugby, hockey, lacrosse and kickboxing, among others, you are vulnerable to a dental injury. Wearing a mouthguard can prevent an otherwise avoidable injury, and their worth is indisputable. Dentists see many oral and facial injuries that may have not occurred with the use of a mouthguard.

Mouthguards cushion blows to the face and neck. Injuries in nearly every sport can result in damage to your teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue, making a mouthguard an essential part of an athlete’s kit.

Many young sports players will be undergoing orthodontic treatment and wearing fixed or removable braces. Wearing a mouthguard while participating in contact sports means sudden facial contact is cushioned, and should not result in the wirework of the braces lacerating the soft tissues inside the mouth.

Mouthguard Tips

  • Do wear a mouthguard at all times when playing sport
  • Do inform yourself about the most common oral injuries
  • Do wear a mouthguard custom-fitted by your dentist, especially if you wear fixed dental appliances such as braces
  • Don’t wear removable appliances (retainers, bridge, or complete or partial dentures) when playing sport

Types of Mouthguard

There are three types of mouthguard: custom-made, mouth-formed and ready-made


  • These mouthguards are professionally designed from a cast model of your teeth
  • They are designed to cover all back teeth and cushion the entire jaw, able to prevent concussions caused by blows to the chin
  • They are slightly more expensive than other mouthguards, but offer the best fit and protection
  • They are secure in your mouth
  • They do not interfere with your speech or breathing


  • Also called ‘boil and bite’, these mouthguards should be fitted by your dentist
  • They are made by shaping a pre-formed guard to the contours of your teeth and allowing it to harden
  • They are difficult to design for people who wear braces
  • They can become brittle after prolonged use


  • These mouthguards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores
  • They are made of rubber or polyvinyl
  • They are the least expensive option but also the least effective
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