Gumshield

A gumshield is also known as a sportsguard or a mouthguard.

It is an appliance you wear if you run a risk of getting hit on the mouth while engaging in sports such as boxing, American football, rugby, martial arts, hockey etc.

It is designed to protect the teeth and the surrounding tissue from trauma. The rubbery plastic material absorbs the pressure and distributes it evenly over the whole jaw, minimising the risk of injury.

There are different types and makes of gumshields, but there are three main categories:

  • Custom-made gumshields.
  • Off-the-shelf gumshields.
  • Boil-to-fit gumshields.

Custom-made gumshields

These are made with the help of your dentist. The dentist takes an impression of your teeth and sends it to a dental technician to be made. The dentist then makes sure it fits the patient's teeth properly and comfortably. The procedure takes two visits.Out of the three categories, these gumshields provide the best protection.

Off-the-shelf gumshields

Advantages:

  • Ready to use.
  • A temporary solution while waiting for a custom-made gumshield.
  • Affordable prices

Disadvantages:

  • May not fit the teeth properly due to the standard sizes available.

Boil-to-fit gumshields

Made of thermoplastic material, these gumshields can be softened in boiling water and then put in the mouth to be shaped. These gumshields are much better than the standard off-the-shelf ones due to their better fit. Although custom-made gumshields are more expensive than the others, the benefit is invaluable when it comes to adequate protection during sports.

Ask your dentist for the best advice.