Who Should Consider a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a device worn as a covering that helps protect the teeth from injury. People wear them during sports or sleeping to prevent teeth clenching or grinding. Mouthguards can help prevent obstructive sleep apnea and reduce snoring. There are different mouthguards ideal for various situations.
It is necessary to consider wearing a mouthguard; here are the reasons why.
Types of Mouthguards
Stock mouthguards are the most affordable and available type. People can purchase them at many department or sporting goods stores. They are available in small, medium, and large sizes to fit over the upper row of teeth. Stock mouthguards do not always provide a perfect fit, making them uncomfortable at times.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards are available at most sporting goods and drugstores as well. They come in one size but can be customized to fit everyone. They are thermoplastic, so they soften when put in hot water. You place the soft guard in your mouth and bite down to shape the device around your teeth. This helps to create a better, more customized fit.
Custom mouthguards fit the wearer and are made in a professional lab or dental office. Your dentist will take a mold of your teeth before using it to create your mouthguard. It fits your mouth and teeth structure, providing a more comfortable fit than other mouthguards. Custom mouthguards are ideal for use while sleeping.
Choosing a Mouthguard
Mouthguards cover the upper teeth, so if it does not fit well will not provide much protection. If you wear fixed dental appliances or braces, the dentist can design a mouthguard to fit both the upper and lower teeth.
The best mouthguard should be comfortable, durable, easy to maintain, and not restrict speech or breathing. Custom mouthguards are the most expensive option but offer the best protection.
Who Should Wear a Mouthguard?
Accidents can occur during physical activities, resulting in injuries to the teeth, lips, tongue, and other oral tissues. Anyone involved in contact sports should wear a mouthguard regardless of age.
A mouthguard is also helpful during non-contact sports and recreational activities that can result in a mouth injury. Individuals who clench or grind their teeth during sleep can benefit from wearing a mouthguard. This can help prevent teeth damage.
Caring for Your Mouthguard
Use cold water to rinse the mouthguard before and after use.
Use cool soapy water and a toothbrush to clean the mouthguard.
Protecting the mouthguard from hot water, sunlight, and high temperatures.
Storing or transporting the mouthguard in a firm, perforated container prevents damage.
Inspect the mouthguard frequently to look for signs of wear.
Scheduling regular dental visits for the dentist to examine the mouthguard.
Replacing Your Mouthguard
It is necessary to know that mouthguards do not last forever. Even the best custom mouthguards will need replacement at some point. If you notice signs of wear or holes, replace the device immediately. Stock and boil-and-bite mouthguards will require more frequent replacement.
Wearing a mouthguard can be beneficial if you have a sleep disorder or participate in sports. Talk to your dentist to find out the best mouthguard for your needs.
For more on considering mouthguards, visit Courthouse Art of Dentistry at our Arlington, Virginia office. Call 703-420-1937 today to schedule an appointment.