There are many reasons for needing a mouthguard. This could be a bad habit of grinding your teeth, a dentist’s recommendation, or you might participate in a full-contact sport such as rugby, AFL or martial arts.
It doesn’t matter why you need it. Whatever the reason, your mouthguard should always fit perfectly regardless.
An ill-fitting mouthguard can lead to the risk of chipped or lost teeth, damage to gums, soft tissue damage in the mouth, and even nerve damage. That’s how important a well-fitting mouthguard is.
5 Signs to Check Your Mouthguard Is Perfectly Fit
There are many different types of mouthguards, and in some situations, you’ll want to discuss the type you need with a dental professional.
The two main types of mouthguards are:
- Custom fit: this needs to be fitted professionally by a dentist.
- Boil and bite guard: which you can buy from a sports store.
Whatever the type, you need to make sure it fits perfectly.
So, how should a mouthguard fit?
The first and most important sign to check if your mouthguard fits is to perform a basic tongue check.
Once your mouthguard is in place, simply try and remove it, using your tongue only.
If you can remove it, your guard is too loose and needs to be tighter.
If you can push it out of place easily, then even the smallest knock while playing a contact sport is going to make your guard pointless.
The guard should be tight enough that you can’t move it with your tongue while also remaining comfortable.
Alignment is crucial when it comes to your teeth, and mouthguards are no exception regarding correct alignment.
When fitting a new guard, you should be able to bite down so that your teeth meet the mould directly.
Make sure your teeth fit exactly into the mould.
If not, then your mouthguard does not fit properly and should be remoulded where possible.
It’s extremely surprising, especially in sports, how many participants ignore this and put up with a guard that doesn’t fit.
Not only is this incredibly annoying and potentially distracting throughout a sports game, but can even lead to permanent damage to your teeth and gums.
If you need any advice on your overall tooth/mouth health or on getting a mouthguard fitted, give us a call today.
According to ADA-NSW Vice President, DR Michael Jonas, sports-related injuries account for 40% of dental injuries in Australia.
The increased use of mouthguards, however, could lead to a significant reduction in such a statistic.
It’s very important to make sure your guard covers all of your teeth and leaves no area exposed.
At the same time, it’s important to ensure the guard isn’t covering more than just your teeth and gums, as any more coverage can make both breathing and speech significantly more difficult.
One of the main reasons for athletes not using a mouthguard is the effect it has on breathing, drinking water, and speech.
Mouthguards make all of these more difficult and often serve as a hindrance to athletes.
Speech is a super important element to any team-based sport and is enough to make many athletes disregard mouthguards altogether.
However, a guard that properly fits, should not impact speech at all.
If your speech is affected in any way, your guard is too large for your mouth and doesn’t fit properly.
If you’re speaking with a lisp – which many athletes put up with – then there is too much mould material in your mouth and you need a new guard with a smaller mould.
Protects and Covers All Vital Areas
A good mouthguard should not just simply cover teeth.
Gums are just as important, if not more so in your overall tooth and mouth health.
The gums are where the roots of your teeth are, so sufficient protection should be a given for any good quality guard.
If your guard only covers part of your teeth/gums, you are risking unnecessary exposure. Make sure your guard protects all the vital areas of your mouth.
With the importance of mouthguards now evidently clear, the question should never be:
“Do I need a mouthguard?” But rather, “I need a mouthguard, how do I make sure it fits perfectly?”
Unless you’re having a guard professionally fitted by a dentist, finding a perfectly fitting mouthguard can be a little tricky.
We’d love to help.