– Hi, it’s Dr. Shehan from Dentists of Ivanhoe Central. I’m here today at Team Nemesis, one of the top martial arts gyms in Melbourne. And I’ll be speaking with Phil the co-owner of the gym about the use of mouthguards. Phil, we know that when there’s direct force to the lower part of your face, that the force can travel through your head and cause fractures to your teeth and your jaw and even cause concussions. Mouthguards act as a buffer to absorb this force. What was some of the things that you really wanted to know about mouthguards when you first started training Phil.
– What I wanted to know was, what type of mouth guards there were and where I could get one.
– Well basically there are two types of mouth guards. You can buy one from a pharmacy, put it on hot water and mould it over your teeth, or you can go see a dentist to get a custom fitted mouthguard.
– And what’s the difference between the two of them?
– Well the pharmacy mouthguards are cheap but often are too soft and can be quite uncomfortable to wear. Whereas the custom fitted mouthguards that you get from a dentist fits perfectly over your teeth, are made to the right thickness to provide you with the best protection. Phil, I know you’ve tried both these mouth guards. How do you find both of them?
– Yes, I’ve tried both. I’ve found that the old pharmacy mouth guards are alright to start off with but they started to wear out and lose shape. I found that the dentist ones fitted well, they allowed me to breath better as well and talk normally too.
– Right. And has wearing a mouthguard affected your performance at all?
– No, not at all. It feels like I’m not wearing one at all. It actually helps with my performance because I can breathe normally in training. What I did wanna know is how do I look after it?
– Well make sure you keep your mouthguard in a plastic container, in a cool dry place. And make sure you clean it regularly with soapy water. You can also use white vinegar, mixed with cold water to remove any stains.
– And how do I know when it needs to be replaced?
– If your mouthguard looks damaged or worn down, there’s a good chance that it might need to be replaced. So take your mouth guard to your dentist. Let him have a look at it and he will check the fit and the integrity of it and let you know whether it needs to be replaced.
– Thanks Shehan. You’ve answered everything I needed to know about mouthguards.
– You’re welcome Phil.
– Shall we put on our mouthguards and jump in the ring?
– Let’s do it.
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