Why and how to wear a mouthguard
WHY AND HOW TO WEAR A MOUTHGUARD
WHY AND HOW TO WEAR A MOUTHGUARD
As its name suggests, for protection. A mouthguard cushions your mouth against impacts if you take a hit.
It of course protects your teeth; from breaking, moving, or being knocked out, whether caused by the strike itself or from teeth jarring together. But it also does more than that. A mouthguard can also protect the gums if it covers them. Covering the gums significantly reduces the risk of teeth being knocked out.
What is known as the soft tissues are also protected, this includes the lips, tongue, and inside of the cheeks, as the mouthguard forms a barrier between the teeth and tissue. If you bite down after taking a hit or if the hit is too hard, because an uncontrolled hit is always possible, the mouthguard will greatly reduce the impact.
Very good reasons to make sure you wear one!
Single or double? This is the first decision to make.
A single mouthguard only covers the upper teeth. It has the advantage of being smaller in the mouth than a double model and thus makes breathing easier.
A double mouthguard covers the upper and lower teeth and thus offers the best protection for your teeth. It takes up more space in your mouth and requires that you keep your jaw locked to hold it in place, but locking the jaw also helps to provide better protection overall.
Thermoforming or custom-made?
There are non-adjustable mouthguards available, mouthguards which you simply put in your mouth and don't adapt to the shape of your mouth. As they are not specifically shaped to your mouth, these mouthguards may not stay in position when you take a hit.
All the Outshock models are thermoforming, and adapt to the shape of your mouth. The mouthguard must first be put in boiling water to soften, then quickly put in cold water to allow you to put it in your mouth to mould it to the shape of your mouth, then allowed to cool completely to retain its new shape. Watch the video below to see an example of how to mould the Outshock 100 adult mouthguard.
For maximum protection, you can also approach your dentist or a dental prosthesist to have a custom mouthguard made. This is of course more expensive, but you'll have a mouthguard that is perfectly matched to your teeth and will last longer than an off-the-shelf model.
Single or dual material?
A mouthguard can also be made from a single material or two different materials.
Single material thermoforming mouthguards are out of necessity made from a material that softens in boiling water to allow it to be moulded. As these mouthguards are made from a single material they are more affordable, such as our Outshock 100 mouthguard€.
Dual material mouthguards are made from two materials with different densities. One is thermoforming and softens in hot water for moulding, and the other is harder and located on the outer face of the mouthguard. The advantage of a dual material mouthguard is that it allows the mouthguard to be thinner and thus more comfortable in your mouth.
The first thing you need to know is that each mouthguard model is unique, with its own hardness and thickness. It is therefore very important that you carefully read the instructions to ensure the mouthguard correctly moulds to the shape of your mouth. The video here shows how to wear the Outshock 100 adult mouthguard.
Generally, the mouthguard must first be put in boiling water at 100°C to soften, then briefly dipped in cold water to prevent you burning yourself when moulding it in your mouth.
Then put the mouthguard in your mouth. Bite down into the material to ensure it takes the shape of your teeth. Then, carefully press all around with your fingers to ensure it fits snugly around your teeth.
For a single mouthguard, as shown in the video, it is also important to press using the supplied wedge to create a space for easy breathing when your teeth are closed.
Then leave the mouthguard in cold water for longer to ensure it keeps the shape of your teeth. You can now remove the wedge and try on your mouthguard. Single models such as the one shown in the video must stay in place when your mouth is open.
For hygiene reasons, it is important that you rinse your mouthguard in clean water after each use, dry it, then return it to its storage case.
It is also important to regularly replace your mouthguard depending on how often it is used: at least once a year for store-bought models.
It's quite simple, as soon as you get ready to spar, always put on your mouthguard! Even if you're doing touch sparring (less force), there is always the possibility that your opponent may not control their hit properly.
It's a habit you should develop and stick to in order to protect yourself. |€
As you now know, the mouthguard is primarily a protective device for your safety, but never forget that safety is key for ensuring you have fun!
COMBAT SPORTS ENTHUSIAST