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Mouthguards 101: Everything You Need To Know 

Mar 01, 2021

Imagine losing one or two of your permanent due to an accident or because they are worn out. Everything would change; talking, speaking, and chewing would become a problem. That’s why it is important to protect your teeth. Mouthguards are tooth protectors worn on the teeth to protect them from the pressure of grinding and accidents.

What are Mouth Guards?

Mouthguards are designed to cover, cushion, and protect the teeth, tongue, gums, and cheeks from trauma caused by accidents or grinding.

Both children and adults may need mouth protectors if they are at risk of losing their teeth because of bruxism.

When Are They Mouthguards Recommended?

Our dentist can recommend a dental guard to protect the teeth and gums if you have:

1. Bruxism

This is the unconscious grinding and clenching of the teeth. Bruxism is classified as a sleep-related problem because most of the grinding and clenching occurs at night. You can, however, experience bruxism during the day.

Bruxism can cause tooth and jaw pain, sore gums, and jaw damage. Wearing a mouthguard covers the teeth and shields them from the pressure of grinding and clenching of teeth.

The dentist usually gives you a mouthguard for the lower jaw, but you may get for both jaw if you desire to.

2. Sports

Contact sports are the leading cause of knocked-out teeth, gum, and soft tissue bruising. Millions of teeth are lost when your teeth come in direct contact with the ball.

According to the American Dental Association, athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are twice as likely to lose their teeth when playing.

Wearing a mouthguard has been shown to prevent the effects of accidents. These protect your teeth, gums, and soft tissues.

3. Sleep apnea

The dentist can recommend mouthguards as part of your treatment for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes your breathing to stop temporarily while you sleep. This prevents the brain from receiving enough oxygen.

If you have mild sleep apnea, a mouthguard will keep your airway open while you sleep, promoting proper breathing. The mouth protector pushes the lower jaw and tongue forward, which will, in turn, open the airway.

4. Snoring

Mouthguards can also help to reduce snoring by working similarly in sleep apnea. The guards push the tongue and the jaw forward, opening the airway.

What Are the Types of Mouthguards?

Mouthguards are available in different forms that you can use:

1. Stock mouthguards

A stock mouthguard is the most available mouthguard, and it can be found in drug stores. They come in different sizes; small, medium, and large sizes. These mouthguards mostly cover the top jaw.

While they are readily available and inexpensive, these stock mouthguards do not provide a perfect fit.

2. boil-and-bite mouthguards

These are also readily available in drug stores and are also relatively inexpensive. However, unlike the stock mouthguards, these are available in one-size-fits-all, which can be customized to fit your teeth. These mouthguards involve boiling so they can soften up before you can place them in your teeth.

3. Custom-made mouthguards

These are the most recommended mouthguards before they are designed by the dentist using your precise dental structure.

The custom-mouth guards provide a much better fit than the rest of the types. These teeth protectors are ideal if you have bruxism.

How Can You Care for Your Mouthguards?

It is important to protect your mouthguards from damage by keeping them clean. Here are a few mouthguard care tips:

  • Brush, floss, and rinse your mouth before you put on the mouthguards
  • Use cold water to rinse the teeth to maintain the shape.
  • Regularly check the mouthguards if they have holes or signs of damage. This means that they need to be replaced.
  • Store the mouthguards when you are not wearing them to protect you from dirt and sun damage.
  • Visit the dentist regularly for an assessment of the quality of your mouthguards.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Brechon dental for more information on mouthguards and their benefits.

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