Below is an article published in First Impressions last year. We helped them gather the information.
Oral healthcare is a round-the clock job for patients. So, it makes sense that dentists should educate their patients on new technologies, such as mouthguards.
It’s becoming common to see mouthguards used in a wide range of sports, from basketball to gymnastics, skateboarding and martial arts. And, as more amateur athletes seek the same quality equipment and styles as professionals do, more are looking for the same level of protection and safety.
Today’s custom mouthguards are tight-fitting, thereby offering better protection without compromising athletes’ ability to communicate or breathe. In fact, as they become available in more colors and styles, mouthguards are becoming somewhat of
a fashion trend in sports.
High impact sports typically require athletes to wear a mouthguard. But, in some sports, such as basketball, mouthguards are not always worn. Athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 percent more likely to suffer a mouth injury, according to experts.
In fact, mouthguards are estimated to prevent over 200,000 oral injuries each year. While it’s often difficult or impossible for athletes to avoid a blow to the mouth, wearing a mouthguard can help them avoid the discomfort and expense of lost or broken teeth, a broken jaw or worse.
Inexpensive mouthguards available at sports retailers do not always afford adequate protection. For instance, boil-and-bite options (designed to be softened in hot water and then shaped around one’s teeth) may only cost about $10, but they tend to wear out easily. What’s more, chewed-up mouthguards likely will fail to offer adequate protection. And, what seemed like an upfront savings can lead to dental bills to repair cracked
or even lost teeth. By comparison, custom mouthguards, which are designed around an impression that the dentist takes of the patient’s mouth, are said to fit better, provide greater protection, last longer and can be used for multiple sports.
Working with your customers
Rather than working with an outside laboratory to make custom mouthguards, dentists can employ an in-house system to create custom mouthguards at their office. Reps should encourage their customers to speak to their patients and parents of their younger patients, as well as reach out to schools and local athletic directors. Some good probing questions reps can ask include:
• “Doctor, are many of your patients children or
• “Are you involved in – or connected to – the local
• “Are there local sports teams that might be interested
in bulk rate deals for custom fit mouthguards?”
• “Do you yourself play sports? If so, do you wear
a mouthguard?” (Dentists can promote their
products by demonstrating their value firsthand.)
Dentists may object that the cost of a custom mouthguard is a turn-off to some patients. Sales reps should remind their customers to stress the savings – both financial and medical – that comes from protecting one’s oral health and avoiding costly and painful injuries.
Selecting a mouthguard is not a matter of one size fits all. As athletes (both professional and amateur) and parents of child athletes become increasingly aware of the risks involved in sports – as well as the protective gear available to help prevent those risks – the demand for mouthguards will likely increase. If they’re not already on board, your dental customers will want to be a part of this opportunity, and they’ll appreciate the insight their sales reps have to offer.