It is normal to worry about your oral health if you have a habit of grinding your teeth. It is also normal for a parent to feel nervous about their child being injured while playing sports. Luckily, the solution to both problems is a custom mouthguard.
The American Dental Association recommends that athletes wear custom mouthguards for sports to avoid severe oral injuries and trauma. Mouthguards are removable dental accessories that protect the teeth and gums from this trauma. If you engage in recreational sports, it is also important to wear a mouthguard as they provide increased tooth protection and are easy to use.
Types of Mouthguards
- Preformed mouthguards: Preformed mouthguards are available at sports stores and have a unique teeth pattern. They are the most affordable version available, but they are not very comfortable unless the wearer has perfectly aligned teeth. There are many people who find these preformed mouthguards painful on the gums.
- “Boil and bite” mouthguards: Partially adjustable, “boil and bite” mouthguards are also found at sports stores. They are flat and relatively hard until placed in a pot of boiling water. The user then lets them cool slightly and mold it onto their teeth using their fingers and tongue. These mouthguards are significantly more comfortable than the preformed mouthguards.
- Personalized or custom mouthguards: Made in the dental office, personalized mouthguards are the best fitting devices. To make the safest and most comfortable mouthguard, Dr. Mahan takes an impression of your teeth. The impression is used to mold a personalized mouthguard from a soft and resistant material. They are unbeatable when it comes to comfort and protection. Personalized mouthguards are highly recommended for patients wearing braces.
Who Should Wear Mouthguards
- Professional athletes who play any sort of contact sport such as hockey, football, boxing, and many others.
- Children and adults who engage in the above-mentioned sports or other dangerous activities with risks of injury (e.g. skateboarding).
- People who grind their teeth at night. Grinding damages the tooth enamel and applies pressure on jaws that provokes pain and headaches. To prevent the discomfort, a special mouthguard or a nocturnal bite plate can be attached to teeth. Worn all night long, it prevents grinding to eliminate these problems.
Mouthguards Care and Maintenance
Care and maintenance of mouthguards is a relatively simple process and does not require a lot of time. The basic rule is to keep it clean! Rinse you mouthguard or clean it with a mild cleanser after each use and rinse it thoroughly before putting it back in your mouth. Store your mouthguard in a ventilated container to prevent damage or odors. If the mouthguard is made in acrylic, it needs to be kept fully immersed in water to maintain its shape and properties.
With the right mouthguard, you will feel confident and protected. If you are planning to get a mouthguard, contact our friendly staff today.