What are Mouth Guards?
Mouthguards, mouth protectors or sports guards are removable dental appliances that have been designed to protect the teeth against damage. These mouth guards are designed to protect the teeth against trauma during sporting activities and can also be used as a dental appliance for the purpose of discouraging teeth grinding during sleep.
While mouthguards are designed to protect the teeth, they can be made from a variety of materials depending on the purpose for which it is to be used. Some mouth guards are made from acrylic plastic material and are designed to cover the upper arch of teeth. Some are designed with a view to keep wearer’s dentition from fracture, trauma or damage.
How Are Mouth Guards Worn?
In most cases, mouth guards are worn on the upper arch of teeth. These mouth guards are designed so that they will provide the needed protection to the lower teeth. In some cases, dentists may produce mouthguards for the lower teeth. However, mouthguards for the upper teeth are the most common and most comfortable option.
Are there different types of mouthguards?
Mouthguards are available in different varieties depending on what it is to be used for and what it is made of.
- Stock mouthguards:
Stock mouthguards are prefabricated and available in a ready to use form. Stock mouthguards as you may have imagined, are the cheapest option for mouthguards on the market. This is because it is not tailored to meet the specific needs of each person. This type of mouthguards is available for purchase over the counter and can be applied immediately to the teeth.
For people who are interested in this type of mouth guard, you can visit a local grocery store or a sports shop for the stick mouth guards. They are also available in two to three sizes, making it easier to find something that is more applicable or near-perfect to your needs.
It is important to note that what you get for being cheap with stock mouthguards is taken away in terms of how well it fits into your teeth and how bulky it appears.
- Boil and bite mouth guards
This type of mouthguard can also be purchased over the counter from grocery stores. A great advantage of this option is that they offer a generally better grip compared to stock mouth guards. These mouth guards were originally made from thermoplastic material and this allows it the property of melting down when boiled and taking the shape of the wearer’s teeth when cool. This property is responsible for the ‘boil and bite’ name it has earned among consumers. One of the major shortcomings of this type of mouthguard is that it is only suitable for short-term use. This is because the mouth guard has a negative effect on the teeth, being that it is able to shift the teeth into an uneven position and lead to dental issues in the long run.
- Custom-made mouthguards
Custom made mouthguards are those that are offered at the dentist. This mouth guard has been designed with the aim to mirror the impression of the wearer’s mouth and dentition thus reducing the incidence of dental issues later on. If you are interested in this type of mouthguards, visit our dental clinic as we have a team of dental professionals who are more than willing to help you out. We will first conduct an adequate oral examination before taking impressions of your teeth. The impression is taken to our laboratory where the mouth guard is fabricated. While this is the most expensive option of all three, it is important to note that this is also the healthiest option to choose from.
Who needs a mouthguard?
Mouthguards are fabricated with the intention to offer adequate protection to the mouth and teeth. Mouthguards can also protect the jaw joints from sports injuries.
Mouthguards are most recommended for people who are involved in contact sports like wrestling, boxing, rugby, baseball, skateboarding, cricket, and more.
Any activity you are partaking in that has the risk of injury to the teeth requires wearing a mouthguard.
Is mouthguard appropriate for people with braces on?
If you have braces, this does not save you from injuries, especially if you are hit in the face. As a matter of fact, braces can complicate your situation when you are involved in a traumatic accident to the teeth. It is possible to wear braces and still be able to wear mouth guards, however, it is recommended that you seek out professionals who possess the right skills and equipment to ensure that an accurately-fitting mouth guard is installed.
Caring for your mouthguard
To care for your mouth guard:
- Make sure to rinse the mouthguard with water daily or rinse every time you remove it and wish to put it on.
- Keep the mouthguard in a safe and hygienic place. Be sure to keep it in containers that are perforated and allow the intake of fresh air.
- Check the mouth guard frequently for wear.
- Return the mouthguard to your dentist frequently for checks.