Do you need a mouthguard?
Mouthguards can be used by anyone. If you play sports – even non-contact sports – we recommend using a mouthguard. If you wake up with headaches, an aching jaw or don’t feel well-rested in the morning, you could be suffering from bruxism, and may benefit from an occlusal splint.
Your dentist is your best resource for finding the best mouthguard for you. An effective mouthguard should be comfortable, durable, easy to clean, and should not obstruct your breathing or speech.
You only have one set of adult teeth, and keeping them as long as you possibly can is the best strategy for your overall oral health.
A single blow to the mouth or jaw can cause serious dental damage that is very painful and expensive to treat. You can minimize the risk of this type of injury by using a mouthguard when you take part in sports and other recreational activities.
Mouthguards are resilient appliances that fit over your teeth. When worn during sports activities, mouthguards help protect against injuries to the teeth and other areas in and around your mouth.
The risk of this kind of injury is commonly associated with contact sports, such as football, rugby, hockey, and boxing. However, dental and other mouth injuries may also occur as a result of contact with people or objects during many other athletic activities, including basketball, soccer, squash, gymnastics, skateboarding, and taekwondo.
While the number of mouth injuries caused by sports activities is relatively low, the cost of these injuries is relatively high, especially if there is damage to the teeth. Depending on the type and extent of a dental injury, a single blow to the mouth may result in months or even years of treatment, with costs ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Night Guards – Occlusal Splints
In addition to sports mouthguards, The Dentists at Des Plaines Family Dentistry create custom night guards and splints. The most common reason for wearing a night guard is to prevent bruxism or teeth grinding. Bruxism can also refer to the act of clenching your top and bottom teeth together during the night. Often bruxism can lead to jaw disorders, headaches, and damaged teeth. If you suffer from grinding or clenching your teeth at night, consider getting a custom-made night guard today.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three main types of mouthguards:
These are ready-made. You simply place the appliance in your mouth and use it “as is.” You can buy these in stores that sell sporting goods. They are also sold over the Internet.
Boil-and-bite mouth guards
These are made from materials that are resilient under normal conditions but become pliable when heated. You place this type of mouthguard into very hot water until it softens, and then bite into it so it will take the shape of your mouth and fit more closely over your teeth. Like stock mouthguards, these are sold in sporting goods stores and over the Internet.
These are prescribed and fitted by a dental professional. The process involves making a model of your teeth and then molding the mouthguard material around the dental model to ensure a close and comfortable fit.
Choosing a Mouthguard
Mouthguards vary in terms of cost, comfort, and effectiveness. The ideal mouthguard is durable, resilient, and comfortable. It should fit properly, be easy to clean, and should not affect your ability to breathe or speak.
Here are some facts to consider when choosing a mouthguard:
Stock mouthguards are typically the least expensive. They offer some protection, but they do not grip the teeth, and it can be difficult to keep them in place unless you bite down on them constantly.
Boil-and-bite models fit more closely around the teeth and this makes it easier to keep them in place. However, when you bite into the hot mouthguard to give it the right shape, you reduce the thickness of the device. This, in turn, may reduce the level of protection.
Custom-made mouthguards are the most expensive, but they have a better fit, which means better protection and more comfort.
Our dental team can craft a custom-made mouthguard to comfortably fit your mouth. Schedule an appointment today to protect your smile.