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Mouth Guard: Is a protective device for the mouth that covers the teeth (usually the upper teeth) and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth and supporting bone, lips and gums. Mouth guards are most often used to prevent injury in contact sports.

There are different types of mouth guards including: preformed, mouth-adapted or boil and bite and custom made mouth guards.

Teeth are at risk of damage when playing sport and can result in long and potentially expensive treatment to restore to normal function and appearance.
Mouthguards also help to reduce the risk of jaw fractures and concussion caused by a collision. Mouthguards should be worn during any sport where there is the chance of a knock to the face.

Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommendation:

  1. Contact sports where contact is part of the game. These include football, rugby, martial arts and boxing. The mouthguard should be compulsory.
  2. Collision sports where contact often happens but it is not expected or allowed. These include basketball, hockey, water polo, lacrosse, netball, baseball, softball, squash, soccer, BMX bike riding, horse riding, skateboarding, in-line skating, trampolining, cricket (wicket keeping or batting without a helmet), water skiing and snow ski racing. A mouthguard is highly recommended.
  3. Non-contact sports where contact is a rare occurrence. These include such sports as tennis where a mouthguard is not needed.

Mouth guards should be worn during should be worn during training sessions as well as competitions, as this is when many injuries occur. This should be stressed to children in junior teams.