Mouthguards

Mouthguards

Mouthguards are used for many reasons. Athletes who play impact sports and people who experience an aching after a night’s sleep are two examples of individuals that may benefit from mouthguards. There are various types of mouthguards, so it’s important to get them the right type of equipment for your particular situation.

Mouthguards are classified into three basic categories. Although they have the same basic function – to protect teeth – there are several distinctions worth noting.

  1. Stock Mouth Protectors: These protectors are sold ready to wear and come in a variety of sizes. However, these mouthguards are limited in their adjustability, and their low price ends mean you’re compromising on convenience, ability to breathe properly, and ability to speak. Although these are sold in most sporting goods stores, they aren’t recommended by dentists. 
  2. Boil and Bite Mouth Protectors: These guards are slightly more customizable than the stock guards. Boil and bite mouth protectors are made of a thermoplastic substance that is boiled and then bit into by the user. This causes the guard to mold against the teeth and fits more snuggly than stock mouthguards. Although they are also available in sporting goods stores, they still have a less than desirable fit. 
  3. Custom Fitted Mouth Protectors: These are the most custom-fitting of the three styles since they are specifically created for each patient. These mouthguards are made by taking an impression of your teeth and then customizing them to your precise bite and teeth positioning. Due to the increased customization, these mouthguards are usually the most costly of the three, but they provide the best fit and protection.

Typically, mouthguards are only intended to go over the top teeth, since this provides some protection to prevent you from scratching or injuring your lower teeth. However, under some circumstances, the dentist may design a mouthguard for your lower teeth. These are also used to shield people who have braces or other dental equipment. You should consult with your dentist to determine the right course of action for you.

When you get your mouthguard(s), make certain that they fit properly. A mouthguard should be simple to insert, easy to wear, and should not impair breathing or ability to talk. Mouthguards should be sturdy, tear-resistant, and easy to clean.

Mouthguards are not necessary for everyone, but more often than not, dentists see patients who should be wearing them but don’t. Children and adults who participate in activities such as rugby, baseball, boxing, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, ice hockey, swimming, gymnastics, and skateboarding should strongly consider wearing mouthguards. Individuals who experience jaw pain after a night’s sleep should also speak with their dentist about possibly needing a mouthguard. If you play contact sports or are experiencing jaw pain, contact Dental Designers to learn if mouthguards are right for you.