July/August 2019 
As dentists I believe we have a responsibility to share our knowledge about the benefits of custom sports mouth guards with our patients and their parents. 
If you search for gumshields or sports mouth guards on the internet you will find Sports Direct and Amazon offering many cheap options and websites such as Mumsnet endorsing these.  
With a significant difference in price compared to custom made sports mouth guards I can see the appeal of boil and bite mouth guards for parents. After all, we know how often young people lose things at school and forget to take the mouth guard out of their pocket before it goes in the wash! 
However, whilst respecting everyone’s differing financial situations, as dental healthcare professionals I believe we have a responsibility to share our knowledge about the benefits of custom sports mouth guards with our patients and their parents. Below are the key benefits of custom mouth guards that I would share: 
• it fits interstitially, meaning once it is in it will form a vacuum seal and it won’t fall out or affect the breathing (as well as better protection, this also means better sporting performance)! 
• it covers the root area as well as the teeth, providing more protection against dislodging a tooth 
• the thickness of the laminate in custom made guards is double or triple laminated compared to single layer for boil and bites. The Oral Health Foundation points out that the material for boil and bites is at its thinnest where it is needed most 
• children are more likely to wear them as they are comfortable to wear due to the fit and the fact the edges are heat sealed, unlike cutting the edges of your boil and bite with scissors! 
• prevention is better than cure. Whilst the majority of people will not have a tooth impact injury, the long-term consequences and costs for those who do if they aren’t using a quality mouth guard, is significantly higher than the cost of the mouth guard 
• at Ultralight we also offer the option of having indentations on the mouth guard so that the jaw occludes properly. This makes them even more comfortable and can prevent concussions if the jaw is closed when the face is hit 
In addition to all the health benefits above, the chance to have designs that are custom made is especially appealing to teenagers. Why not have posters/flyers or examples of some of the different designs available in your surgery as well as encouraging young people to design their own? 
After all, it’s likely that they will take greater care of their personalised item so hopefully it won’t end up in the wash! 
As always, if you have any queries about this blog please contact me via our website or give us a call on 01937 588868. 
Giles Bradley 
Tagged as: Sports Mouth Guard
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