Which Type of Mouthguard Is Best for You?

woman holding a mouthguard and smiling​​​​​​​
  • By Courthouse Art of Dentistry
  • October 5, 2021
  • Bruxism, also called teeth grinding, is a common condition in which people grind or clench their teeth. It is not always clear what causes this condition, but the effects can be quite uncomfortable. They include headaches, tooth damage, and jaw pain.


    Is There a Cure?


    Currently, there is no cure for teeth grinding or clenching. However, many dentists recommend wearing mouthguards at night to limit bruxism and its associated consequences. If you have this problem, you need to know what to look for in a good mouthguard.


    What Is a Mouthguard?


    This is a covering or protective device worn over teeth to protect them from potential damage resulting from grinding, clenching, or sports. While many people find relief from these devices, they are not right for everyone. If you think you may be clenching or grinding your teeth while sleeping, consult your dentist to determine the right treatment options for you.


    Why You Need to Consult an Orthodontist or Dentist


    You need to get a mouthguard from an orthodontist or dentist who will fit it specifically to your teeth. Spending a bit more can make a huge difference when it comes to your dental health. If this is not an option for you, you should go for mouthguards that will not require you to bite down on them too hard for protection.


    Types of Mouthguards


    The most common types of mouth protectors include:


    Custom-Fitted Mouthguards


    These individually designed mouth protectors are ideal for people who tend to grind or clench their teeth while sleeping. Made in a professional lab or dental office, they are also ideal for those who engage in high-impact sports such as football and boxing.


    If you choose this type of mouth protector, your dentist will first make an impression of your teeth. He or she will then mold a mouthguard over the model. Due to the work involved, extra time, and special material used to mold it, this custom-made mouth protector tends to be more costly than other types of mouthguards. However, it provides the most protection and comfort.


    Boil and Bite Mouthguards


    You can purchase this type of mouth protector from many sporting goods stores. Made from a special thermoplastic material, users simply need to place them in hot water to soften them before placing them in the mouth. To shape this type of mouth protector around your teeth, you just need to use tongue and finger pressure.


    Stock Mouthguards


    This type of mouth protector is inexpensive and comes ready to wear. You can find it at most department stores and sporting goods stores. The most important thing you need to understand about it is that you can do little to adjust its fit. Also, stock mouthguards are quite bulky and can make talking and breathing difficult. Also, they tend to provide little protection, which is why very few dentists recommend their use.


    How to Choose the Right Mouthguard


    When breathing while sleeping, most people cannot breathe through their noses. Consequently, as you inhale, your mouth tends to be open. This is one of the most important factors you need to remember when choosing a mouthguard. In boxing, you can take it out after each round. In football, you simply need to wait for a few seconds before taking it out when the play is over.


    To learn more about mouthguards, contact Courthouse Art of Dentistry at our office in Arlington, Virginia. You can call 703-794-3727 today to schedule an appointment.