A mouthguard is a dental appliance worn over the teeth and is often used to protect teeth from all kinds of sports and teeth grinding. Athletes usually wear these devices during recreational activities or while playing contact sports such as basketball.
Mouthguards protect not only your teeth but also your tongue, gums, and cheeks from trauma caused by teeth grinding or sports injuries.
Furthermore, some specific types of mouth guard for teeth grinding (known as nightguards) can be worn while sleeping, and they help ease the symptoms of bruxism.
Different Types of Mouthguards
Mouthguards fall into two major categories. One type consists of mouthguards designed to protect your teeth from trauma from sports or other athletic activities, while the other type consists of mouthguards that help treat bruxism (teeth grinding).
These kinds of mouthguards serve different purposes and offer a different look. Let’s discuss the major types of mouthguards.
Your dentist will use the impression of your teeth to prepare custom mouthguards that will comfortably fit on your teeth and mouth. Although custom-fit mouthguards are more expensive; however, they offer the best fit and protection. You can get these kinds of mouthguards at a dentist’s office.
The best thing about a custom mouthguard is that it is prepared to meet your specific needs, whether it’s protection from trauma or prevention against bruxism. Also, a custom-fit mouthguard prepared by your dentist is of the highest quality and protects your teeth better than over-the-counter mouthguards.
Boil-and-Bite mouthguards are a thermoplastic material that you can shape at home to fit your teeth. The mouthguard softens when you place it in hot water. Once the mouthguard softens, you can place it into your mouth and press it onto your molars and front teeth using your fingers.
When the mouthguard fits properly, you can bite it down for about 20 seconds, remove it, and place it under cool water. Repeat this process multiple times until it fits into your mouth.
Stock mouthguards are available in various sizes and are ready to wear. However, these mouthguards do not necessarily fit well into your teeth. The bulkiness and poor fitting nature of these mouthguards can make breathing difficult. Stock mouthguards are the least favorable option because they offer the least protection among all types of available mouthguards.
Adjustable Over-the-Counter Mouthguards
Adjustable mouthguards are mostly designed to make your sleep comfortable. These types of mouthguards rest between your teeth while you fall asleep.
Who Should Wear A Mouthguard?
The American Dental Association recommends wearing a mouthguard for athletes involved in various sports and exercise activities. These include; boxing, basketball, gymnastics, handball, martial arts, rugby, skateboarding, water polo, squash, and other contact sports.
Furthermore, adults and children who grind their teeth while sleeping should have a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint, which helps in preventing tooth damage.
Why Wear Mouthguards While Playing Contact Sports?
Playing contact sports such as basketball, boxing, or rugby increases the chances of accidents occurring because of physical contact. Wearing a mouthguard while playing these games limits the risk of mouth-related injuries and protects your mouth’s lips, tongue, and soft tissues. That’s where a mouthguard can become handy.
In addition, mouthguards also help you avoid chipped or broken teeth, tooth loss, or nerve damage to a tooth. You can wear SportingSmiles Night Guard for bruxism.
How to Take Care of Your Mouthguards?
Mouthguards are vulnerable to getting dirty because they pick up bacteria from your mouth. Hence, you must clean your teeth before putting the mouthguard on your teeth. Here are a few tips on taking care of your mouthguard.
- Avoid exposing your mouthguard to excessive heat, such as direct sunlight or hot water. Excessive heat can warp and change the shape of your mouthguard.
- Place the mouthguard in a sturdy plastic case when not in use
- Rinse your mouthguard in cool water. Clean your mouthguard using a brush and soapy water after each use.
- Keep your mouthguard away from the reach of pets and children
Should I Wear A Mouthguard While Wearing Braces?
Yes, you can wear a mouthguard even if you wear braces. Any injury to the face can damage your braces. That’s why wearing a properly fitted mouthguard is essential as it can protect braces and hence avoids any damage to your teeth.
Your dentist will prepare the best mouthguard depending on your unique teeth requirements. This mouthguard will perfectly fit your teeth and protect your teeth from all kinds of injuries.
Read also: 6 Dental Tips To Achieve Pearly White Teeth