Sports Mouthguard: How Does It Work?

Every year, thousands of Australians suffer dental injuries. Many more injuries are prevented by using a sports mouthguard. With protective gear, you reduce the possibility of a massive injury. People frequently suffer these injuries while playing sports such as cricket, football, soccer, and hockey. Those with mouthguards protect their mouths and reduce the risk of a serious injury.

Dental injuries include everything from cuts on the tongue or lips and chipped teeth to teeth being knocked out and even a broken jaw. Not only do these injuries result in quite a lot of pain, but they can also prevent the injured person from working, studying, and going about their life.

What Exactly Is a Sports Mouthguard?

A mouthguard is an essential part of your athletic equipment. It’s a U-shaped piece of plastic, rubber, or other material designed to fit over your upper teeth. When in place, it sits against the gums, front and back, encasing the teeth in the protective layer.

While most sports mouthguards are designed for the upper jaw, you may need one on the lower jaw if you have braces or a bridge on the lower teeth.

The mouthguard’s protective layer can help prevent major injuries to the teeth and jaw. It’s considered essential for contact sports. You may wish to use one for some non-contact sports, as well.

Different Types of Sports Mouthguards

You have three options when it comes to a sports mouthguard. You may choose the type you need based on price and the kind of sport you play.

Stock or ready-to-wear sports mouthguard: As the cheapest option, stock mouthguards are the most commonly found. However, they don’t provide a lot of protection in comparison to the other types. Also, stock mouthguards aren’t as comfortable, as they don’t fit perfectly.

Boil and bite sports mouthguard: Another option is a simply fitted mouthguard. You must immerse it in boiling water to soften the plastic, then fit it into your mouth. The fit won’t be perfect, but this type of mouthguard is useful for children and anyone in non-contact sports.

Custom-fit sports mouthguard: This is fitted by the dentist and will mould exactly to the athlete’s mouth and teeth. This type of mouthguard is the most comfortable. It also offers the best protection, as it’s formed into the individual’s mouth.

If you intend to play rugby or another high contact sport, you’ll be more protected with a custom fit mouthguard. For martial arts and other similar sports, a simpler version of the mouthguard may be enough. All mouthguards will need to be replaced regularly to ensure the best fit and protection.

Ideally, you replace your mouthguard every season, though it should be more often if necessary. Teens and children need their mouthguards replaced more often as they grow and their mouth shape changes.

How Sports Mouth Guards Work

How does a mouthguard work for sports? It’s a protective piece of equipment that absorbs impact. If you’re hit in the face, it can be devastating to your teeth and jaw. However, with the mouthguard absorbing the shock and spreading out the impact, it can prevent much of the possible damage.

The material in mouthguards takes the impact of anything that you may face and lets this flow over the surface of the device. This means that no one tooth or point in your jaw takes the full impact. Instead, it’s spread out over a wider area, making it easier to receive the impact without full damage.

Mouth protection isn’t just for contact sports. Other sports result in similar injuries and should also require a mouthguard, including:

  • Cricket
  • Basketball
  • Netball
  • Skateboarding
  • Soccer
  • Touch football

Remember, your teeth deserve protection, and it’s your job to ease the blows you may receive. Sports are fun, but they can also damage your teeth and jaw.


Sports are dangerous in many ways, and blows to the face hurt and maim. No one wants knocked-out teeth or a broken jaw, and a sports mouthguard may prevent this. Knowing how a mouthguard works for sports ensures more people use them.

While a mouth guard seems simplistic, it’s a carefully designed piece of equipment that spreads blows out over the jaw. This prevents more serious damage, which results in fewer permanent or serious injuries.

Whether you or your child are playing a sport, it’s vital to have a mouthguard fitted to your mouth. The custom made ones work best to prevent injury and provide the most protection. Talk to our dentist today to learn more about how mouthguards protect you.

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