Anyone playing any contact sports is vulnerable to injury and trauma, especially to the teeth. While there are a multitude of mouthguards available at sporting goods stores; however, it is important to ensure a mouthguard fits properly. Only a well-fitted, customized mouthguard can protect your teeth. This is because a customized mouthguard spreads the impact from contact, thereby reducing the risk of damage to your teeth.
Who needs a mouthguard?
Dentists recommend mouth guards for children and adults involved incidental contact sports such as basketball, wrestling, soccer and volleyball to prevent sports related injuries.
Injuries like knocked out, loosened or damaged teeth need long visits to the dentist and often expensive. You can avoid unnecessary expenses by opting for a personalized mouth guard that can minimize the risk of mouth-related injuries to your lips, tongue, and soft tissues of your mouth. You can avoid chipped or broken teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, or even tooth loss with the help of a mouthguard.
You will also need a mouth guard if you tend to grind or clench your teeth at night, snore or have obstructive sleep apnea.
What are the different types of mouthguards?
Depending on your need, your dentist will recommend the right mouth guard.
• Stock Mouthguard: Covers only your top teeth
• Boil-and-bite Mouthguard: Can be customized to fit your teeth
• Custom-made Mouthguard: This is custom-made by your dentist by taking a mold of your teeth and creating one specifically for the structure of your teeth and mouth. This fits you much better than the previous two types. It is not only more comfortable but also harder to dislodge while sleeping. This is the best option for people who grind their teeth, snore or have sleep apnea. Even if it is slightly more expensive, many dental insurance plans cover some or most of the cost.
What would your dentist recommend?
- For sports: Since there is a high risk of injuries that can impact your face, a stock or boil-and-bite mouth guard would help protect teeth and prevent injuring lips and tongue.
- For teeth grinding: This is a sleep-related disorder that can cause tooth pain, jaw ache and sore gums as well as damage your teeth. A custom fitted Mouth guard would help keep your top and bottom teeth separated.
- For Sleep apnea: This is a potentially serious sleep disorder that can cause a person to temporarily stop breathing while asleep. This can cause excessive snoring. For mild sleep apnea, your dentist may recommend a custom-made mouth guard that keeps your airways open while you sleep.
- For snoring: Mouth guards help reduce snoring by pulling your lower jaw forward to keep your airway open.
Can I wear a mouthguard with braces?
If you play sports or clench or grind your teeth, then it is very important to wear a mouthguard. Your dentist will customize the mouthguard specifically for braces that cover both the upper and lower teeth, especially for sports. This will protect not only your teeth but also your lips, tongue and cheeks.
How do I take care of my mouthguard?
To protect your mouthguard and keep it clean, it is necessary to follow the steps given below:
- Brush and floss your teeth before putting in your mouthguard.
- The mouthguard must be cleaned with cool, soapy water, rinsed with cool water or mouthwash before putting it in and after taking it out. Don’t use hot water since its shape can get warped.
- Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean it after each use.
- Ensure that the mouthguard is checked regularly for any sign of damage such as tears or holes; is loose or causes discomfort; in which case, it needs to be immediately replaced.
- In order to store the mouthguard or transport it, you must use a firm, perforated container. This permits air circulation and helps to prevent damage. Use fresh, clean water for storage if the mouth guard is acrylic.
- Hot surfaces, hot water or direct sunlight can distort the mouthguard shape. The mouthguard has to be protected from high temperatures.
- Always carry your mouthguard with you to the dentist so that they can check whether it fits properly.
Remember, a mouthguard offers the best protection whether you play sports or suffer from a sleep disorder. Call us at Rochedale Central Dentist. We will guide you through the process of choosing the optimal mouthguard based on your needs.
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