Back to school sports: Mouthguards

Every year thousands of children are treated for dental injuries, which could have been prevented, or the severity minimised, by wearing a protective mouthguard.

Anyone who participates in a sport that carries a risk of contact to the face should wear a mouthguard.

This includes obvious sports such as football, boxing and rugby, and also collision sports where unexpected contact often happens. These include basketball, hockey, water polo, lacrosse, netball, baseball, softball, squash, soccer, BMX bike riding, horse riding, skateboarding, in-line skating, trampolining, cricket (wicket keeping or batting without a helmet) and water skiing racing.

Why do you need a mouthguard?

A mouthguard helps absorb the shock experienced by a blow to the face, which might otherwise result in an injury to the mouth or jaw. A heavy collision can result in chipped or broken teeth, internal damage to a tooth, tooth loss, injuries to the soft tissue of the mouth, and, in severe cases, concussion or a broken jaw.

Dental injuries can result in time off school or work to recover, can be painful and disfiguring, and may involve lengthy and complex dental treatment to restore teeth and the mouth back to normal function and appearance. The cost of an injury to your teeth or jaw far exceeds the cost of a custom-fitted mouthguard.

When should I wear a mouthguard?

Mouthguards should be worn whilst playing and training for any sport that could involve contact to the face. 

Other Mouthguard Tips:

  • The Australian Dental Association (ADA) and Queensland Country Dental recommend that only a professionally-fitted custom mouthguard should be worn. This means a mouthguard made specifically for you by a dental professional. These mouth guards are closely fitting and still allow you to breathe and talk with ease, unlike the ‘boil and bite’ versions available from the chemist.
  • Check your mouthguard every time you wear it for fit and protection. Bring to your dental check-ups so that your dentist can ensure it is still providing optimal protection for your teeth. This is particularly important when children are in the mixed dentition stage between baby and adult teeth. As adult teeth come though, mouthguards will need to be replaced to ensure a close fit is maintained.
  • Keep your mouthguard clean by washing in cold water after use, air dry, and store in a rigid container, away from heat to ensure it maintains its shape. 

For more information on this benefit and what Queensland Country will pay please contact our friendly team on 1800 813 415.