You probably have a friend, or have heard a story about a friend of a friend, or your child's friend, who has had a dental injury playing sport. You may even have noticed someone who has a grey or black front tooth.
You will know the value of a custom mouth guard!
If you are playing any kind of sport that involves contact then you could benefit from mouth guard for soccer, mouthguard for basketball, mouthguard for football, mouthguard for boxing, mixed martial arts, netball, rugby, cricket etc! That way your teeth and your brain are much more protected from a stray elbow, foot, or ball!
If you play any of these sports and do not have a custom mouth guard, it is important to understand the life long maintenance and cost associated with dental trauma! It can be years of treatment to fix and many thousands of dollars!
Possible consequences of no mouth guard
If you have seen someone with the grey or black front tooth it is usually a result of damage to the blood supply of the tooth from when the tooth got knocked during sport. The interruption of blood supply to the nerve causes the nerve inside the tooth to die. This often requires root canal treatment, which can also make the tooth grey if it wasn't already grey from the injury. Believe it or not, root canal is a good outcome from a dental injury!
More disastrous than the knock can be the total knocking out of a tooth! This is known as dental avulsion. When a tooth is knocked out of the jaw bone completely, the long term survival of the tooth is very poor. This often means a long expensive road of replanting the tooth, splinting, root canal, likely extraction and likely implant or denture in the long term.
Sometimes it can seem like investing in a custom mouthguard is a lot of money - $200 for a custom mouth guard from a Perth dentist can seem expensive when you can buy a boil and bite mouth guard from the pharmacy for $8!!! It is worth noting that if you have private health insurance your out of pocket expense would be much less.
We are a HBF Member Plus provider, and as an example the out of pocket expense for a single laminate mouthguard (single laminate is suitable for children) with HFB dental insurance is less than $60! A double laminated mouthguard will cost $110 and a triple laminated mouthguard will cost $160.
How much do mouth guards cost?
The type and therefore the cost of a mouth guard at Dentista Dental Centre depend on the level of intensity of the sport and the age of the wearer.
1. Single Laminate from $200
these are the mouth guards we recommend for kids
due to the growing and changing face in kids they will need to be replaced every year on average
2. Double Laminate from $250
these are the mouth guards we recommend for adults involved in medium level intensity sports such as basketball, soccer etc
3. Triple Laminate from $280
these are the mouth guards we recommend for adults involved in high impact sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts.
Single, Double or Triple laminate refers to the number of layers, or laminations of the mouthguard material. The more laminations, the greater the cushioning and protection to the teeth and jaws.
If you want to view a great resource with descriptions and pictures of the differences between boil and bite, single, and double lamination mouth guards, click here to check out a great article by Dr Heidi Aaronson.
There are also optional extras which have an additional fee
Two or more colours (e.g. foot ball team colours/multicolour swirls): $15 extra
Your Name (helpful for not getting lost!): $15 extra
Are mouth guards covered by dental insurance?
Yes! The out of pocket cost to you for a single laminate mouthguard is less than $60 if you are with HBF and have dental cover! A double laminated mouthguard will be $110 and a triple laminated mouthguard will be $160
Are mouth guards safe?
It depends on the type!
If you use a custom fitted mouth guard then the answer is, YES! If you use an over the counter mouth guard, then NO!
Mouth guards work by absorbing and spreading the impact from a damaging blow. They don't just protect your teeth, but can also reduce the impact to your brain! Other injuries mouth guards protect the wearer from are broken jaws, broken teeth, cut lips and cut tongue.
Custom fitted mouth guards, which are made from a mould of your teeth, fit your teeth intimately. This means they don't move around, so the wearer can breathe and speak well. On the other hand, over the counter mouth guards, or boil and bite mouth guards do not fit the teeth well, so they drop down. This impacts breathing, will not adequately protect the teeth (think of a loose seatbelt!), and can actually be a hazard if they get dislodged to the back of the throat on impact!
How to look after your mouthguard?
A well maintained mouthguard for a non-growing wearer can last many years. Of course if you are someone who uses it every day then it will wear down quicker, but it will still last many seasons! To look after your mouthguard follow these guidelines
rinse with water after use
keep safely in its case
keep out of reach of dogs! Doggies find them delicious!
keep out of direct sunlight
Dental Emergency!! What to do if a tooth is injured in a sport accident? Dental First aid:
Time is of the essence when there is a dental injury! Often it is difficult to access care as sport can take place on weekends and after hours!
Please click here to view an excellent resource from the Australia Dental Association for Dental First Aid.
A quick guide for dental injuries:
If there has been an injury to a baby tooth and it has been knocked out do not replant it. The developing adult teeth are right under the gum and attempting to replant a baby tooth can damage the very delicate developing adult tooth underneath.
If you are not sure place the tooth in milk and bring it to the dentist who will assess it. Milk is very friendly to the delicate cells that hold the tooth in the jaw bone. It can keep them alive which very helpful. Conversely, water is very bad for these delicate cells and can kill them quickly! If you don't have access to milk, it is recommended to wrap the tooth in cling wrap.
If there has been an injury to an adult tooth and it has been knocked out place it in a glass of milk ASAP.
Only touch the white part of the tooth (crown), not the bit that was under the gum with red gum attached to it. Do not scrub it or place it in water.
If you feel confident to do so, rinse off any dirt with milk and place it back into the hole it came out from in the mouth. Make sure it is facing the right way forward (any lumps should be on the palate side). You can use Aluminium Foil to make a temporary splint until you see your dentist. See the photo below!
Mouth guards for Grinding and Snoring:
If you're after mouth guards for grinding (also known as night guards or occlusal splints) or mouth guards for snoring (also known as mandibular advancement splints), click here!