Custom Mouthguards for Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a team sport played between two teams using a lacrosse stick and a lacrosse ball. Players use the head of the lacrosse stick to carry, pass, and catch the ball to score by shooting the ball into the opponent’s goal.

As players prepare for their season, it’s important to set both position and season goals with their coaches before they train. Because men’s and women’s rules differ significantly and because injuries and demands may differ by position, it’s important for players to participate in an individualized training program that can lessen the risk of common injuries in lacrosse and boost conditioning.

One of the common injuries is to the face or rather oral cavity region. So, you can see how important the use of custom mouthguards is in this sport.

The different types of mouthguard offer differing levels of fit and protection. Custom-made Mouthguards are considered the most superior, providing the highest level of security. Pre-fabricated and mouth-formed Mouthguards have an imperfect fit and are less retentive than custom-made mouthguards.

Pre-fabricated mouthguards have been described as being loose by 42% of athletes when compared to custom-made mouthguards. When mouthguards lack retention, athletes often have to exert occlusal forces to keep them in place, and they can therefore easily be dislodged during use.

Articulation between team members subsequently becomes difficult often leading to players preferring to remove an ill-fitting mouthguard thus increasing their risk of dental injury. To improve mouthguard wear, it is important to identify the barriers to their use. Several factors have been identified as barriers to mouthguard wear:

  • Poor retention
  • Intra-oral dryness
  • Nausea
  • Interference with breathing
  • Interference with speaking
  • Athletes priding themselves on not wearing a mouthguard
  • Increased cost of custom-made mouthguards
  • Custom-made mouthguards requiring dental appointments

Clinicians should routinely ask their patients, within their social history, about any sports they participate in and if patients to participate in sports or if they exhibit habits of bruxism, they should recommend the use of a mouthguard. Advocacy for mouthguard use should also focus on sports coaches, sporting organizations, and governing bodies.

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