Dental Health Mouthguards
Mouthguards are the dental appliances that are used to cover the teeth for protection. They are used to provide an extra layer of protection on teeth. They work by reducing the pressure that comes with external impacts against the mouth area.
Mouthguards are common among sports persons who are most vulnerable to dental injuries. Typically, a mouthguard is made only for the upper jaw. When the upper teeth are protected, hardly will the lower teeth be impacted. However, under certain situations, a dentist may recommend protection for the lower jaw. This is especially for patients who have other oral appliances. For example, if you have braces, protecting both arcs of your mouth is paramount.
Types of Mouthguards
There are different kinds of Mouthguards. The differences are marked by how they are created, the material used and how well-fitted they are. The different types are:
- Stock mouth protectors: They are ready to wear Mouthguards used to protect teeth. These are usually available in local sports stores and outlets, or any general dentistry near you. The best part about Stock mouth protectors is that they are readily available and inexpensive. The downside, however, is that these mouth protectors come ready to wear. It is, therefore, hard to adjust their fit. This can make them feel bulky when worn, not to mention hinder you from talking and breathing properly. Your dentist may advise against them, especially if you already have complications with your breathing. Patients who are required to wear night guards at night for sleep apnea are advice against the stock mouth protectors.
- Boil and bite mouth protectors: They are an alternative to stock mouthguards. They are made from a thermal plastic material, hence the name ‘boil and bite’. Their fit is much better than the previous ones thanks to this material. To adjust the fit, all you need is to place the protector in hot water. Once it is warmed up, place it over your teeth and adjust the fit. You can use your fingers or your tongue to lay it out perfectly in your mouth. The other good news is that they are locally available in sporting goods stores.
- Custom-fitted mouth protectors: They are the most suitable type of mouthguards according to medical experts. They are customized for individual requirements. These mouthguards are only made in professional laboratories or a dental facility. They are created based on the impressions of your teeth. It is the most comfortable type of mouth protector, not to mention, offers optimal protection to your teeth and jawbone. The only downside is that they can be a little expensive as compared to the other types. This is only because of the intense work involved in customizing them, along with the high-quality materials used in their creation.
Under some other circumstances, there is another type of mouthguards available for patients, as shown below:
- Nocturnal bite plate – it is made specifically for patients with bruxism. Bruxism is a condition where patients grind their teeth at night. This can cause severe damage to dental health, including, loss of enamel, increased tooth sensitivity, as well as temporomandibular joint disorder. To prevent such, a dentist will recommend the nocturnal bite plate or otherwise called the bite Splint, to help prevent tooth damage.
Factors to Consider When Choosing A Mouthguard
Your choice of mouthguards will determine to what lengths your teeth are protected. Some factors to consider include:
- Comfort – the goal of mouthguards is to protect your teeth. If the mouthguard itself is uncomfortable, then you are damaging your teeth before you can protect them. Get one that fits properly, without being too tight or very loose.
- Material – get yourself a mouthguard featuring a sturdy material that can properly protect your teeth from external damage. However, the sturdiness of the material should not compromise the softness thereof. This will ensure it is comfortable all while offering the necessary protection.
- Durability – a mouth protector should last long. It is best achieved when the material of the appliance should be tear-resistant and strong enough to last a long time.
- Ease of cleaning – your dental hygiene still matters as you protect your teeth from external damage. Keeping the protectors clean is paramount for a healthy mouth.
- Allows breathability – if the mouthguard restricts your breathing, then it is not worth it. Breathing cannot be compromised just so you can protect your teeth. There are better options in the market to consider.
- Allows proper speech – Make sure you try out speaking out verbally before you settle in which mouthguard to buy.