When athletes are surveyed as to why they don’t wear mouthguards, results indicate participants believe their mouthguards will affect their breathing. However, Rapisura, Coburn, Brown, and Kersey recently tested two types of mouthguards with female athletes and found there was no effect on aerobic performance with their subjects with either the custom or prefabricated mouthguards they tested.34
When considering recommendations, an ideal mouthguard should follow the following recommendations outlined by the Academy for Sports Dentistry (ASD):
The fitting of a mouthguard is best accomplished under the supervision or direction of a dentist. The athlete and/or parents should always be advised of the special design for the “properly fitted mouthguard” and the end product should have the following properties and considerations:
The properly fitted mouthguard should be routinely and professionally examined for fit and function. Frequency of routine inspection is dependent on factors such as the athlete’s age, the demand of the sport that the athlete is engaged in, and the willingness for the athlete to properly care for the appliance. The frequency of the inspection should be determined by the dental professional for each individual situation and athlete.
Mouthguards typically are made of thermoplastic copolymer and designed to fit over occlusal and facial surfaces of the maxillary teeth and gingival tissues.36 The American Society for Testing and Materials and the manufacturers of mouthguards have classified the mouthguards into three types: