Saturday, 4 August 2012

Are your teeth protected when you play sports?

The excitement of the Olympics will, no doubt, reignite latent sporting desires in many of us but, if you are thinking of taking up a sport or, indeed, if you already play, are your teeth adequately protected?

Whilst the dangers to teeth in contact sports such as boxing and rugby are well known, accidents in many non-contact sports are common and can result in chipped, broken or lost teeth - almost always in the front of the mouth where the resultant damage/gap is most visible.  Remedial work can be costly, particularly in the case of lost teeth which require a denture, bridge or implant to put right.

For a fraction of the cost of remedial work, you can get a mouthguard (sometimes called a gumshield) manufactured to fit the exact shape of your mouth.  Many sports shops sell what has come to be known as 'boil and bite' mouthguards - in other words, the guard is soaked in boiling water to soften it and then placed in the mouth to shape it.  Whilst these afford some protection, they are not ideal and there are much better solutions available.

A properly constructed mouthguard starts with an impression - a mould of your teeth and gums.  This is sent of to a specialist laboratory where a plaster cast of your teeth is made using the mould and then a mouthguard is formed using the cast as a basis.  These use a strong laminated material and are available in a range of colours and designs if required.

If you would like a mouthguard, ask at your sports club to see if they have any special arrangements for their manufacture.  If not, then see your dentist who should be able to help you.

AllClear can provide mouthguards and a full range of other dental treatmetns at competitive prices.  Call in, phone 020 8688 3869 or see our website for details.

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