Gum Shields

What are Gum shields?

Gum shieldsAlso known as a mouthguard, a gumshield is a flexible ‘appliance’ which is worn in during sporting and recreational activities to protect teeth from trauma. The dental profession unanimously supports the use of mouthguards in a variety of sports activities.

Why should I wear a gum shield?

A gum shield can prevent serious injuries such as broken teeth, jaw fractures and neck injuries by helping to avoid situations where the lower jaw gets slammed against the upper jaw. Gumshields are effective in moving soft tissue in the oral cavity away from the teeth, preventing laceration and bruising of the lips and cheeks, especially for those wearing orthodontic appliances.

In what sports should I wear a gum shield?

In any sport where there is a high likelihood of contact with other participants or hard surfaces, we would advise that a gumshield is worn. Players who participate in gaelic football, hurling, soccer, rugby, wrestling and martial arts, as well as recreational sports such as skateboarding, should wear gumshields while competing.

What are the different types of gum shields?

Mouth-formed gum shields: There are two types of mouth-formed gum shields. The first is a shell-liner mouthguard that is made with an acrylic material that is poured into an outer shell, where it forms a lining. When placed in the person’s mouth, the protector’s lining material molds to the teeth and is allowed to set. The more common type is a thermoplastic, or “boil-and-bite,” gumshield. This gumshield is softened in hot water and then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth by using finger, tongue and sometimes biting pressure. Achieving a good fit is very difficult with this type of gumshield and many complain that the gumshield is unretentive and not terribly comfortable.

Custom-made gum shields: The best type of gumshields. We take an impression of the patient’s teeth and our laboratory makes the gum shield. It offers the best protection, fit and comfort level because it is made from a cast to specifically fit your teeth.

How should I care for a gum shield?

  • Clean your gumshield by washing it with soap and cool (not hot) water.
  • Before storing, soak your gumshield in mouthwash.
  • Keep your mouthguard in a well-ventilated, plastic storage box (which we will provide you with) when not in use. Make sure the box has several holes so the gumshield will dry.
  • Heat is bad for a gumshield, so don’t leave it in direct sunlight or in the car!
  • Don’t bend your gumshield when storing.

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