According to a recent study in General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), the use of a custom-made mouthguard is associated with a reduced risk of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) and concussion.
The study followed 412 players from six high school football teams. Three teams (220 athletes) wore mouthguards custom-made by dentists, and three teams (192 athletes) wore standard over-the-counter (OTC) mouthguards of their own choosing. All players wore the same style of football helmet.
According to the study, 8.3 percent of athletes in the OTC mouthguard group suffered from MTBI or concussion injuries. For players wearing custom-made mouthguards, the rate was 3.6 percent.
Many factors to examine
The study notes that there are different factors at play in custom-made mouthguards’ higher performance. Custom-made mouthguards are unique from OTC mouthguards because they are properly fitted to the unique shape of an athlete’s mouth. Additionally, dentist-made mouth guards boast over twice the thickness of an OTC mouthguard, which could aid in shock protection. Custom-made mouthguards also have a longer life than OTC mouthguards, providing protection when an OTC mouthguard may have outlived its value.
Mouthguards continue to prove highly beneficial
Researchers note that of the many variables that contribute to MTBI/concussion injuries, mouthguards address a limited number: mainly working to absorb shock and stabilize the jaw, head, and neck. However, parents frequently overestimate the powers of protection that even today’s advanced helmet designs offer. Additionally, when looking at the cost of treating oral injury compared to the cost of a custom-made mouthguard that protects against oral and brain injury, the cost/benefit analysis is clear: a dentist-made mouthguard is the clear winner.
The Gregory A. Williams Team has the experience you need
At the clinic of Gregory A. Williams, DMD, we have years of experience working with parents to provide the ultimate protection for their young athletes. Our team has found that not only do custom-made mouthguards provide superior protection, they are far more comfortable than their OTC counterparts. This makes it more likely that they will be worn correctly– providing the protection your child deserves.