Scale of protection and the various types of sports mouthguard

D G Patrick, R van Noort, M S Found
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2005, 39 (5): 278-81

OBJECTIVES: To present a grading system of the protection offered by various types of mouthguard, together with an indication of associated risks, in order to make athletes aware of the consequences of improper or no mouth protection.

METHODS: A review of the literature on mouthguards, mouthguard materials, and novel laminates for mouthguards was carried out as it was apparent that information on mouthguards was lacking. Studies on stock (or unfitted) mouthguards, mouth formed (boil and bite) mouthguards, and custom mouthguards are reviewed.

RESULTS: A scale of protection offered by various mouthguards and novel laminates has been produced, where 0 indicates no mouthguard and 10 indicates a custom made mouthguard offering excellent protection.

CONCLUSIONS: From work carried out on laminates and the manufacturing processes of mouthguards, it became apparent that information was lacking to enable athletes make informed decisions about the best oral protection for their chosen sport.

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