WHY SHOULD CUSTOM-MADE SPORTS GUARDS BE USED?
Academy of General Dentistry: Custom-made mouthguards reduce athletes’ risk of concussion, study shows. (2014)
“High school football players wearing store-bought, over-the-counter (OTC) mouthguards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injures (MTBI)/concussions than those wearing custom-made, properly fitted mouthguards, reports a new study in the May/June 2014 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).”
“According to the study, 8.3 percent of athletes in the OTC mouthguard group suffered MTBI/concussion injuries. For those with custom-made mouthguards, however, the rate was only 3.6 percent.”
HOW THICK SHOULD MOUTH GUARDS BE?
B. Westerman, P.M Stringfellow, J.A. Eccleston. Dental Traumatology: EVA mouthguards: how thick should they be? (2002)
“Using a pendulum impact machine that produced a force off 4.4 joules with a velocity of 3 meters per second the following results were recorded. A major consideration in the performance of mouth guards is their ability to absorb energy and reduce transmitted forces when impacted. This is especially important to participants in contact sports such as hockey or football. However, wearer comfort is also an important factor in their use. Ticker mouth guards are not user-friendly. While the thickness of material over the incisal edges and cusps of teeth is critical, just how thick should a mouth guard be and especially in these two areas? Transmitted forces through different thicknesses of the most commonly used mouth guard material, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) (Shore A Hardness of 80) were compared when impacted with identical forces, which were capable of damaging the oral-facial complex. The constant impact force used in the tests was produced by a pendulum and has energy of 4.4 joules and a velocity of 3 meters per second. Improvements in energy absorption and reduction in transmitted forces were observed with increasing thickness, however. These improvements lessened when the mouth guard material thickness was greater than 4mm. The results show that optimal thickness for EVA mouth guard material with a Shore A hardness of 80 is around 4mm increased thickness, while improving performance marginally, results in less wearer comfort and acceptance.”
2mm: 15.7 joules
3mm: 11.4 joules
4mm: 4.38 joules (the ultimate thickness over inclussal)
5mm: 4.03 joules
6mm: 3.91 joules