Our teeth can be regularly put to the test during our lives. As a child grows, it evolves along with his or her entire body. As an adult, the practice of certain sports, contact sports or violent sports can abuse our teeth and cause irreversible damage.
Mouthguards are a useful device for protecting our teeth at any age. There are different types of mouthguards and they must be chosen according to certain essential criteria. To protect us effectively, it must be well adapted, comfortable and of good quality. Here are a few tips to help you make your choice.
Mouthguards: the best offers of the moment
What is a mouthguard?
A mouthguard, or intra-oral protection, is a molded synthetic device that is worn in the mouth to protect the oral cavity, especially during certain risky activities such as violent or contact sports. It is a kind of dental mouthpiece.
It usually covers the teeth of the upper jaw and protects against broken teeth, cut lips and other injuries that may occur in the mouth. It can also be worn over braces, dental implants or bridges.
Mouthguards are mandatory for certain sports because they are an effective way to protect against dental trauma. The first model was created in 1890 by a London dentist, Woolf Krause, in order to protect boxers in their sports practice. On the other hand, it was in 1970 that the Canadian dentist A.W.S. Wood launched the modern mouthguard to protect the teeth of field hockey players.
The different types of mouthguards
There are different types of mouthguards (or dental splints).
The custom-made mouthguard: perfectly adapted to the teeth, it is made by a dental surgeon or a specialized laboratory from a dental impression. It is the most comfortable and protective model. It is the most popular among athletes despite its higher price.
The boil-and-bite or adaptable mouthguard: This model is available in most sports stores and protects teeth better than a ready-made format. To put it in, simply immerse it in very hot water until it softens and becomes malleable. Then put it in your mouth and bite down on it to make it fit the shape of your teeth and mouth.
The ready-to-use or standard mouthguard: this model, less expensive, is ready to use and is placed directly on the teeth. However, it is not suitable for all dentitions and can sometimes be uncomfortable to wear.
Top 5 best mouthguards of the moment
The characteristics of the mouthguard
The usefulness of the mouthguard lies in its ability to reduce the risk of dental trauma, especially to the upper teeth. It isolates the teeth from the soft tissues (mucous membranes, lips, tongue, cheeks) and prevents wounds and bites. It also prevents shocks and fractures, and even reduces the risk of concussion and neck injury.
The characteristics of a good mouthguard are as follows
It is designed to be comfortable and painless.
It absorbs and disperses impact forces.
It provides good retention.
It fills the gaps between teeth.
it does not interfere with breathing and phonation.
Finally, the mouthguard must be renewed regularly (once a year on average, depending on its use). Children grow up and their jaws evolve, so the protection must adapt to their teeth as they grow. As for sportsmen, it is recommended to change the protection after each sports season, the appliances being regularly abused during the practice.
How to choose a good mouthguard?
The choice of a mouthguard starts with the choice of a type. You need to identify your needs and choose a model that is comfortable to wear and meets your expectations.
The standard model is the least expensive but also the least effective protection. It exists in several sizes, but lacks hold and can disturb breathing and phonation. In addition, it does not really prevent the risk of biting or injury, so it should not be used by athletes.
The adaptable model requires that the adaptation method indicated in the instructions be followed, otherwise the protection may be insufficient and breathing may be disturbed. When used properly, it is an interesting alternative to the custom-made model and is suitable for children and athletes.
The custom-made model is preferably suitable for adults. It fully meets the criteria of protection, comfort, retention and stability. Sportsmen and women who have dentures must remove them during their practice, the mouthguard allows them to fill the empty space.
The choice of a mouthguard also meets certain criteria:
it must be durable and resistant, criteria that can vary according to materials and prices.
It must be comfortable.
It must fit properly to your teeth without hindering you.
It must allow you to speak and breathe without problems.
it must absorb shocks.
it must be retentive, i.e. hold in place without falling out.
it must be provided with a case of conservation for a better hygiene.
it must be made of a material without toxins or bisphenol A.
it must protect against dental emergencies.
The custom-made mouthguard
The custom-made mouthguard is the best model and is highly recommended, especially for athletes. Made from a dental impression, it perfectly fits the shape of your teeth and mouth to offer you the best possible protection. It must be made by a professional and be non-deformable and comfortable.
The realization of a custom-made mouth guard is conducted by a dental surgeon.
The dental surgeon begins with a careful examination and a panoramic X-ray of your teeth to check your oral health and detect any problems. He or she will perform the necessary treatments before proceeding with the creation of a mouthguard.
The dentist will then take a silicone impression of the entire dentition, including all the details and reliefs of the inside of the mouth.
The dental surgeon creates the mouthguard from a mold, itself made from the impression of the dentition.
It is then tested on the patient to ensure that it fits perfectly.
Our selection of the best mouthguards
Why wear a mouthguard?
Wearing a mouthguard has several advantages:
it protects the soft tissues from injury (mucous membranes, tongue, lips, cheeks)
it reduces the risk of dental injuries by absorbing the force of impacts
it prevents a violent impact of both mandibles
it reduces the risk of concussion
it reduces the risk of vertical injury
distributes the force of the impact
The mouthguard is useful because of the different risks involved in dental emergencies.
In adults, it protects athletes from risks and consequences that are often irreversible for the teeth.
For children, it protects them from trauma, especially from braces or during sports activities.
Risks and costs
Some contact sports are violent for the teeth, the mouthguard allows to protect the teeth and the mouth from shocks. For this reason, it is particularly recommended for certain sports: ice and field field hockey, soccer, combat sports, rugby, basketball, water polo, etc.
When playing sports with physical contact, such as rugby, it is recommended to wear one. A rugby mouthguard covers the upper arch and helps prevent falls, blows and shocks.
When playing combat sports, such as boxing, it is also recommended to wear one. A boxing mouthguard must protect against blows and shocks and the risk of cervical and cerebral trauma. It usually covers the upper and lower arch to weld the facial mass to preserve the boxer while allowing a fluid breathing.
Not opting for a boxing mouthguard or a rugby mouthguard increases the risk of cuts and lacerations, fractures and more or less violent shocks.
The price of a mouthguard can vary from 3 euros to nearly 200 euros, depending on the type, brand and materials used. However, it is recommended to invest in an adapted and solid model of quality.
The purchase of a mouthguard can be partially reimbursed if it is prescribed and made by a dental surgeon. In addition, your mutual insurance company can partially or fully supplement the remaining part after the reimbursement by the Health Insurance. You just have to check the rate of your contract and/or ask your health insurance company.
Because the health of your teeth is important, wearing a mouthguard is highly recommended when practicing certain sports. It allows you to avoid certain damage that is often irreversible. Its interest is widely recognized by sportsmen, in order to better protect themselves from shocks, blows and risks of dental and cerebral traumas.