Sports Gum shields
Ensure you take part in your favourite sporting activities without worrying about any injuries.
What is a Gum Shield?
Gum shields, mouthguards, or dental guards are dental appliances worn on top of your teeth and gums to protect them, specifically during high-impact sports like wrestling, Gaelic Football, Hurling, boxing, rugby, hockey, football, basketball etc. Mouthguards are durable, resilient and offer much-needed protection.
How to care for the gum shield?
If you are somebody who engages in sports regularly, it is a good idea for you to get a custom-fitted sports shield or mouthguard. We recommend visiting the dental clinic to get a fitted and customised gum shield for your recreational or sporting activities.
While sports gum shields and nightguards are both mouthguards in the technical sense, they differ greatly in terms of the look, feel and function.
The primary role of sports guards is to cushion the impact from a sudden heavy force during sporting activities. In comparison, a nightguard’s role is to protect the teeth biting surfaces from being worn down due to excessive tooth grinding or clenching. For this reason, nightguards are not as thick when compared to sports guards.
The material that makes up the two mouthguards is also quite different. Nightguards are made of a transparent and rigid material, strong enough to withstand biting forces, whereas gum shields are made of a softer material to absorb high impact forces.
Also, nightguards may only cover your teeth’ biting surfaces, whereas gum shields or sports mouthguards cover the teeth and the gums area (providing protection for the underlying bone).
- Preformed gum shields: Preformed or ready-made gum shields and mouthguards are sold over the counter in pharmacies and sports retail shops. They are not customised and come in a few generic sizes that are ready to wear. These ready-made gumshields are inexpensive but are usually very bulky and ill-fitting. Dentists do not recommend these type of gum shields.
- ‘Boil and bite’ gum shields: These gum shields are also sold at sports retail shop. They are available in a thermoplastic material that has to be immersed in boiling water and softened. The soft material is then moulded over the teeth and gums with the fingers to get a good fit. Although they offer a slightly better fit than preformed gum shields, they do not come close to the perfect fit offered by mouthguards fabricated in the dental clinic. Some “boil and bite gum shields may not seat properly and fall off during the sporting activity.
- Custom fitted gum shields: These mouth guards are highly customised to meet an individual’s needs and preferences. Although they are a little costlier, the comfort, fit and protection they offer are worth the cost. They sit well on your teeth and do not come off unless pressure is applied to take them off.
We always strive to ensure that all our patients leave us smiling
Miriam Kenny truly is an exceptional dentist. Passionate about her work, honest in her assessment and faultless during procedure. Miriam goes above and beyond to ensure a smooth experience for all patients. The whole team are fantastic and I would highly recommend this practice.
September 28, 2018
I was so nervous and anxious about going to the dentist after a long time … And now I am not afraid anymore and I feel very happy to have Miriam Kenny as my dentist. I recomend her 100% I was very nervous and scared when going to a dentist, because after many years without going, because of pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc., I was very scared … but Miriam is a very professional woman. I feel in very good hands. And happy to no longer fear going to the dentist! I recommend it 100%
February 12, 2019
gum shields procedure
What is the process of getting a gum shield?
You can get a gum shield in just two quick appointments at the dental clinic. Our skilled dentists will take an impression of your teeth in the first appointment. It will hardly take ten minutes.
We send the impression to the lab to use measurements to make the custom-fitted appliance for you. We will then see you for a second appointment to deliver the gum shield and check the fit and comfort.
Why are Gum Shields Important?
Dental injuries are among the most typical injuries seen in contact sports. A blow to the face can cause cuts on the lips, cheeks and tongue, broken and chipped teeth and even jaw fractures. The gum shields provide cushioning to the teeth and gums and absorb the impact of the force.
They prevent the lower jaw from ramming into the upper jaw due to sudden impact. Gum shields or mouth protectors are especially important in athletes who have a fixed dental appliance in the mouth, such as orthodontic braces. The braces’ sharp wires and metal parts can lacerate the soft tissues inside the mouth in sudden high impact.
We recommend that athletes participating in non-contact sports like gymnastics and other recreational activities that pose a risk for mouth injury should also wear gum shields and mouth guards. It will greatly benefit them and protect their oral structures from injury.
frequently Asked Questions
Gum shields are made of a thermoplastic flexible material.
Gum shield protects the teeth and soft tissues in the mouth from injury during heavy contact sports like wrestling, rugby, baseball, boxing, hockey etc. They can help reduce the force delivered to the teeth and adjacent areas. They protect athletes from getting cuts on the tongue, cheeks and lips. They can also prevent tooth fractures and jaw fractures.
Gum shields are generally safe to wear by everybody. Rarely, some people might be allergic to the acrylic material used to make the gum shield or mouthguard, so always check with your dentist if your gums or other soft tissues appear irritated and swollen after wearing them.
Yes, a custom mouthguard offers the best fit. We recommend that you not go for poorly fitting over-the-counter mouth guards that may irritate the gums and cause swelling. A customised mouthguard made at our dental clinic will protect your teeth and gums, especially during high-impact sports.
We recommend you brush and floss before wearing your mouthguard. Ideally, rinse the gum shield with lukewarm water or mouthwash before putting it on and after removing it. Press the mouthguard firmly in position on your back teeth with your thumbs. Store your mouthguard in a clean container between wear and regularly clean it using a brush and toothpaste. Let it dry between uses.
Yes, a person with braces can wear a mouthguard. We always recommend athletes wear gum shields or mouthguards during high-impact sports, as the wires and metal brackets from the braces can severely cut the lips, cheeks and tongue if there is any forceful impact on the mouth.
Miriam Kenny Morehampton Dental Practice
Your Trusted Dental Clinic
Our practice is based on providing a high standard of modern dentistry in a friendly, professional manner. It is our mission to help our patients maintain their teeth and a healthy mouth for their lifetime.
Our entire team is committed to this ideal. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from returning patients and referrals of their family and friends. We welcome and are grateful for these referrals.
It has been normal for a long time in modern dentistry to sterilise instruments after use and to clean and disinfect surfaces.
With the current Covid-19 pandemic we are paying particular attention to our normal cross-infection practices, but in addition, we are keeping the practice well ventilated (it may feel cold) and we use a special Fogging machine with Hypochlorous acid (HOCL) which is an all-natural antimicrobial agent made from salt and water by an electrolysis unit. Fogging of each surgery is carried out between patients after any treatment involving an aerosol.
To reduce aerosol production during procedures with the dentist we most often use a little device called a rubber dam —.50 this isolates the immediate teeth we are working with & protects the back of mouth. During hygienist treatment we are using an extra suction device outside of the mouth, this also reduces aerosol production.
We offer modern dentistry in a friendly professional caring environment.
The practice is owned & directed by Miriam Kenny and as the business owner and the principal healthcare professional, I am primarily interested in providing evidence-based dental healthcare. This means my priority is to help my dental patients to maintain their own natural teeth in a healthy mouth for their lifetime.
We can help improve your smile - we offer a range of options depending on what is most appropriate for you, from tooth whitening to composite bonding to ceramic veneers, crowns and bridges.
How Much do Dental Check-ups cost?
At Miriam Kenny Morehampton Dental Practice we aim to provide state of the art, quality affordable dental treatment to all.
It was with this in mind that we created our affordable dental plans, which helps us to keep your teeth, gums and oral health in tip-top shape.
With our Practice Plan, you will attend every 6 months with the hygienist and once yearly for your dental examination and have no fees to pay at these visits. The cost of these visits is covered by your monthly subscription – this is as low as €14.50 or €21, depending on whether you qualify for the “PRSI” benefit.
|Treatment||Member of maintenance plan||Non-member of plan|
|Examination||Included in plan||€70|
|Hygienist Visit||Included in plan||€90|
|Small X-ray||Included in plan||€45|
|Large X-ray (OPG)||€60||€60|
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