An exciting weekend as we had a family trip through to Edinburgh to Murrayfield to watch Scotland v England rugby for the start of the Six Nations tournament (clearly delighted that Scotland won )
I’ll be honest, I love the atmosphere and I love supporting Scotland but the rules of rugby are so complicated so I just get excited when they run fast with the ball and get tackled without concerning myself too much about the technicalities! Anyone who knows me knows that the one thing I don’t lack in is enthusiasm for many, many things!Dentistry, and my team at Belhaven are one of my big passions and I count myself to be very privileged to do a job that I really love. There can be a lot of stress involved in running a business and in being a dentist but the feeling you get when you help someone overcome their fear, or give someone a smile they are proud of is just brilliant.
On the subject of rugby – Let’s talk mouthguards/gumshields.
We see some devastating sports injuries and I can’t stress enough how important a well fitting mouthguard is for contact sports. Boxing, rugby, hockey and some martial arts are sports where a mouthguard is essential.
There are a couple of options – I’ll go through the pros and cons of each-
OFF THE SHELF
These are bought online or in shops and are a basic mouthguard shape which you then put into boiling water to soften , put in your mouth and mould to the shape of your teeth.
Pros of these – low cost (usually around £15), instant results if you need one urgently.
Cons – the plastic needs to be quite thin to mould easily so doesn’t give a great level of shock absorbency against injury. They don’t fit as well as a custom made dental mouthguard so are more likely to be uncomfortable and tend to be removed more frequently during games so increase likelihood of injury.
To have a custom made mouthguard you visit the dentist to have a mould taken of your teeth and a dental technician then makes a custom fit mouthguard to protect your teeth
Pros – excellent snug fit so much more comfortable to wear.
Thicker plastic so much better protection.
Virtually any design can be put on these to make them really individual and special
Cons -longer timescale as require a scheduled appointment and then usually completed a week later
More expensive than off the shelf (prices from £55 -however tend to last much longer as are made from more durable material)
If finances are limited then an off the shelf option is better than no mouthguard, however for best protection we would always recommend a custom made option.
The cost of a well fitting mouthguard is low compared to the trauma and cost of damaged/ or lost teeth.
When looked after they can last for years.
For growing children who don’t yet have all adult teeth we can adapt the mouthguard around these areas, then would recommend a new mouthguard when all adult teeth come through.
There are so many options for design for a custom fit mouthguard that the only limit really is your imagination! For children (and adults!) choosing a design they love makes them much more likely to wear the mouthguard at all times during their sport.
Our lab technician who makes our mouthguards is amazing – here are some examples of his more unusual designs.
If you’d like to have one made then contact us for an appointment.