Purchasing the "best" mouth guard can be a frustrating task for athletes and parents alike. Multiple options exist. Custom mouth guards and off-the-shelf varieties can be effective if worn properly and selected for the appropriate level of play.
In a recent review article in Clinics in Sports Medicine, Dr. Daneshvar and colleagues in the Department of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine examined what the literature says about different types of mouth guards and the rate of sports-related concussions. To date, there have been "no large studies published in the scientific community that can demonstrate a significant difference in the type of mouth guard used and the rate of concussions."
When used properly, mouth guards can provide "an additional level of protection against dental injuries." Many popular mouth guards offer free insurance for financial protection in the event of a dental injury. One might consider this option if there is a concern of future dental treatment or a history of chipped teeth related to sports injuries.
The best advice for patients or parents looking for a mouth guard can be obtained from your pediatrician, dentist, pediatric dentist, orthodontist or oral surgeon. All of these specialists are uniquely trained to offer customized advice in order to help you prevent a sports-related dental or facial injury.
References : Daneshvar DH, Baugh CM, Nowinski CJ, McKee AC, Stern RA, Cantu RC. Helmets and mouth guards : the rile of personal equipment in preventing sport-related concussions. Clin Sports Med. 2011 Jan; 30(1) : 145-63.
More Answers from Dustin Burleson, DDS