Healthy living


A mouthguard fits snugly over the teeth to help prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth.

Who should wear a mouthguard?

Anyone who plays a sport that carries a major risk of a knock to the face should wear a mouthguard. This includes sports like:

  • football
  • hockey
  • rugby
  • soccer
  • basketball
  • netball
  • water polo
  • volleyball.

Wear a mouthguard while playing and training. Also wear it when doing activities like rollerblading, skateboarding, mountain bike riding, trampolining and horse riding to protect your teeth.

What are the advantages of using a mouthguard?

A mouthguard can help cushion a strong blow to the face that otherwise might result in an injury to the mouth. It acts as a shock absorber protecting the teeth and lower jaw from breaking and prevents you from accidentally biting your lips, tongue or cheeks. A misdirected elbow in a one-on-one basketball game or a fall off a skateboard can leave you with chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth or even tooth loss.

Which type is best?

The best mouthguard is one fitted to your mouth that doesn’t restrict breathing. It should be stable, comfortable, allow you to talk and not cause choking. Off-the-shelf mouthguards available at sport stores and chemists are cheap but often cannot be made to fit the mouth properly. A custom made mouthguard obtained from a dental practitioner provides the best comfort and fit. Remember though, as the mouth grows, a new mouth guard is needed.

What about braces?

If you play sport or participate in activities that have a high risk of a knock to the face and jaws, you should wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards can be made to fit over braces. It will be a cushion between the braces and your cheek or lips.

How do you care for a mouthguard?
  • Rinse the mouthguard in mouthwash or mild antiseptic just before use.
  • Rinse the mouthguard with water before putting into mouth.
  • Clean mouthguard after use by washing with mild soap and cold water.
  • Dry the mouthguard and store in a rigid box and away from heat.

Call your dental practitioner if there are any problems.


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This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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