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Mouthguards FAQ

1. Why do I need a mouthguard?

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) advises that anyone who participates in a sport that has a risk of facial contact wear a mouthguard. A sports mouthguard also helps absorb the shock experienced by a blow to the face. If the mouth isn’t shielded, an injury to the mouth or jaw can result. A severe collision can lead to chipped or broken teeth, internal damage to a tooth, the loss of a tooth, or injuries to the soft tissue of the mouth. In serious cases, one could sustain a concussion or broken jaw.
Injuries such as these can progress to lengthy and potentially expensive treatment to restore the teeth and the mouth back to normal function and appearance.

2. Why do I need a custom-fitted mouthguard?

The Australian Dental Association recommends custom-fitted mouthguards as being vital for the proper protection of your children’s teeth. A correctly fitted custom-made mouthguard shields your child’s teeth, gums and jaw. It allows them to breathe and speak more easily compared to wearing an over-the-counter or ‘boil and bite’ mouthguard.
It’s our experience that over-the-counter mouthguards can put your child’s teeth at greater risk than not wearing a mouthguard. An over-the-counter sports mouthguard can be uncomfortable and may be a poor fit. A poorly fitting mouthguard tends to shift within the mouth rather than stay in the correct position, causing it to be ‘played’ with in the mouth. This movement can be dangerous in head/facial impact situations. These often occur in sports such as football when mouthguards are being worn.
Our dentists use an impression of your child’s teeth to have a custom-fitted mouthguard made . Your dentist will be able to accurately evaluate your child’s mouth to provide the ideal size, coverage and thickness to offer the best possible protection for your child, relative to their sport.

3. How often should I get a new mouthguard?

Your dentist will assess your growing child’s mouthguard during their regular checkup to ensure it still fits properly. It may require replacement or an adjustment as your child’s mouth changes through growth or the presence of new teeth. All mouthguards should be reviewed once a year to ensure ongoing correct fit.

4. My child’s teeth are growing and changing. Should I get a custom-fitted mouthguard?

Yes. It’s critical to protect your child’s baby (primary) teeth as they play an essential role in how the adult teeth develop. They reserve space for the adult teeth and help guide them into their correct position. Your child will likely require a new sports mouthguard every year until they are approximately 16 to 18 years of age.

5. When will my mouthguard be ready?

Our custom lab-made mouthguards are made locally. They usually take two weeks. Please call the practice if you have any questions.

6. How do I take care of my mouthguard?

To prevent the buildup of excessive bacteria, rinse your mouthguard in cold soapy water after each use. Then dry it and store it in the protective container we will give you. It’s a good idea to keep it in a cool place as high temperatures can cause distortion. Do not place your mouthguard in the dishwasher to clean it.

7. What should I do if I lose my mouthguard?

Call our practice, and one of our friendly team members will be able to assist you. The impression that we take only can be used once, so we would need to take a new impression for the new mouthguard.

8. My child wears braces. Are you still able to provide a custom-fitted mouthguard?

Yes. It’s critical that all children who play contact sports have a custom-fitted mouthguard.

9. What is a laminated mouthguard?

One of the newest and perhaps most effective types of mouthguard are those that are pressure laminated. Lamination is the layering of material to attain a defined result and thickness under an extreme heat and pressure environment. With pressure lamination, two layers of material are used in the sports mouthguard to achieve the required thickness. The layers are then chemically fused.

10. What is the preferred way to handle a dental emergency?

If a mouthguard isn’t worn while playing a sport, painful consequences can result. Any trauma to the mouth may cause bleeding and lacerations to the gums, and dislodge or fracture teeth. Immediate medical attention is needed; left untreated, a dental emergency can lead to serious complications.

Chipped or Broken Teeth

Save any pieces of the tooth if possible. Rinse the mouth and the broken pieces with warm water. If it is bleeding, place a piece of gauze on the area for approximately 10 minutes or until the bleeding ceases. Place a cold compress on the outside of the mouth, cheek or lip near the damaged tooth to reduce swelling and relieve pain. See your dentist as soon as possible.

Knocked-Out Tooth


  1. Locate the tooth. Make sure it’s clean. Pick it up by the crown only, not the root.
  2. Place the tooth back in position, making sure it’s facing the right way. If it’s a baby tooth, don’t place it back in the mouth.
  3. Get to your dentist straightaway. If you can’t replant the tooth, transport it in milk or saliva.

If your child’s braces or retainer becomes broken or bent, they shouldn’t wear it again until it’s been fitted or adjusted by their orthodontist.


Again, it’s vital to act quickly as possible, ideally within 30 minutes.

  1. Find the tooth and pick it up by the crown only, not the root.
  2. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it in milk but don’t scrub or soak it.
  3. Put the tooth back in its proper position. Once it’s in place, gently bite down on a soft cloth, or use aluminum foil or your mouthguard to keep it in place.
  4. If you can’t replant the tooth, bring it to the clinic in saliva or a cup of milk.

Extruded (Partially Dislodged) Tooth

To help alleviate pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected area. See a dentist as soon as possible. If necessary, you can take an over-the-counter analgesic (paracetamol or ibuprofen).

Soft-Tissue Injuries

Injuries to the mouth such as the tongue, cheeks, gums or lips often result in bleeding. To control the bleeding, we recommend that you do the following:

  • Rinse the patient’s mouth using saltwater.
  • Use a damp piece of gauze or clean paper towel and apply pressure for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Place a cold compress on the outside of the mouth or cheek in the affected spot for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • If the bleeding persists, see your dentist straightaway or head to the nearest hospital emergency department. Maintain pressure until the patient can be treated.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have questions about mouthguards or would like to book an appointment, please contact Cambridge Dental in Ashburton today!


Cambridge Dental | (03) 9885 4281