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How do mouthguards work?

With no mouthguard, a blow to the lower face sends shock waves through the skull. A direct impact can fracture the front teeth. However other blows, particularly to the lower jaw, can cause a different type of damage. A blow to the lower jaw can slam the jaws together and the sudden impact of the relatively sharp lower teeth into the back of the upper teeth is like a chisel, causing a fracture of the upper teeth by punching them forwards.

In some cases, the transmitted forces can lead to a fracture of the lower jaw, or will travel through the jaw joint (TMJ) into the base of the skull causing a concussion.

Mouthguards act like a shock absorber, both spreading the force over a larger area and increasing the time for the peak force to occur. Dissipating the energy of the blow over a larger area and longer time reduces its effect preventing or vastly reducing any injury.To find out more about the science of mouthguards you can read one of our recent publications on this site.

 

The Anatomy of a mouthguard

Laminated:  

Every opro is laminated. This means it is made from two or more layers, which are formed over a plaster cast of the mouth, one after the other.
 
This ensures that certain areas which can be quite thin in single laminate mouthguards, get a generous covering - particularly important over the tips of the front teeth.

Name:

The final laminate is always clear which means that we can incorporate each person's name in the mouthguard, and then seal it in. This is absolutely vital as it:

1. Helps prevent loss of the mouthguard, as everyone else will know it's yours

2. Prevents you from trying to put someone else's mouthguard in your mouth. It wouldn't fit anyway, but you would be at risk of infection!

Shaped for comfort:

Have you ever had a mouthguard that made you gag, prevented you from talking clearly, interfered with breathing...

Well, each opro is individually shaped, and we look closely at the design to ensure that it is as comfortable, and unobtrusive as possible. That's why tens of thousands of sports people now wear opros.