Mouthguards are a well-known and effective way of protecting your teeth against many risks that face your teeth that aren’t from bacteria or decay. Commonly seen used by those participating in sports, particularly those that involve the potential for impact to the jaw, there are many reasons that you may be prescribed one by your dentist. If you’ve ever considered getting a mouth guard or have had someone mention that you might benefit from one and want to know if they’re right, this article may help. We’ll be exploring the types of mouth guards and how they can help protect your teeth.
What Is A Mouth Guard?
Mouthguards are a common suggestion from dentist’s helping patients protect their teeth against various forms of damage. While they come in a few different varieties, there are a few standard features that define them. First, they are comprised of cushioning material and are worn over your teeth during activities that can harm your teeth. Some forms of mouth guard only cover your upper teeth, but there are varieties that will cover your upper and lower arches. There are also specialty bite guards that are used for treating conditions like Bruxism. Generally speaking, the most common forms of mouth guard come in three types:
- Stock Mouth Protectors – These are the most cost-effective form of mouth protector. They come in a selection of standard sizes and are available at most department and sporting good stores. These guards are performed and can be worn without any preparation. They do suffer from being unable to modify, being generally bulky, and not providing very much protection compared to other forms.
- Boil and Bite Mouth Protectors – This form of mouthguard is one of the most recommended for those looking for an affordable and effective guard. As the name implies, these mouth guards can be customized by boiling them until they get soft. While still pliable and warm, they can be placed in the mouth and bitten down on while they cool. The result is a customized guard with a reasonable amount of protection.
- Custom Guards – These guards are the most effective, and accordingly, the most costly. They require the services of a dentist or dental laboratory that has the proper equipment to make them. These guards are comprised of a special material capable of absorbing high levels of impact and are specifically designed to be an ideal fit for the wearer’s teeth. They are comfortable, permit easy breathing and speaking, and are the most durable of all available options.
Do I Need A Mouth Guard?
The most common reason for needing a mouth guard is participation in athletic activity that carries the risk of impacts to the face or jaws. Everything from rock climbing to basketball can qualify, and they’re essential for those participating in football. Patients with certain oral health conditions can also benefit from wearing mouth guards. Bruxism is a primary example, as the guard will prevent the teeth from grinding against each other, causing wear, tear, and potential chipping or cracking. It can also help ease the jaw pain and headaches that come as the result of Bruxism.
Ready to invest in a mouth guard or want to talk to a professional to determine if it’s a potential option for you? Reach out to Sabal Dental Rockdale in Rockdale, TX, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Patrick O’Malley.