Are you considering mouth guards to protect your teeth? Custom dental mouth guards are used by athletes to defend the teeth and mouth from damage in sports. They can also be used by people who suffer from bruxism – tooth grinding – as a way to stop grinding during the night, when the sufferer is asleep.
Before choosing a mouth guard, it’s important to know about the different types and how they could serve your needs. Many people don’t realize that a mouth guard especially for your own mouth and teeth can be developed by your own family dentist.
Store-Bought Versus Custom Dental Mouth Guards
Several different varieties of mouth guard are available to be purchased at pharmacies and in sporting goods stores. In order to fully protect your lips, tongue, and soft tissue, you should select a mouth guard that conforms to the contours of your mouth and does not move and slide while you are in motion.
Dental mouth guards come in three main varieties:
Stock Mouth Protectors
These pre-formed mouth protectors are the least effective and are widely available in a variety of stores. They are inexpensive, but little can be done to adjust their fit. As a result, they should be avoided when possible and only used on rare occasions if necessary.
Boil and Bite Mouth Protectors
These mouth protectors are much more likely to be found at specialized sporting goods stores. They are made from thermoplastic material, meaning they will soften when they are exposed to hot water. You can then shape them directly to the teeth by using your fingers.
Custom-Fitted Mouth Protectors
Custom-fit mouth protectors are your best bet for optimal performance and protection. They are made in a dentist’s office or laboratory. These mouth guards are designed to conform to a model of your teeth, so they are comfortable and easy to use.
When Would You Need a Mouth Guard?
Mouth Guards for Bruxism
Mouth guards are particularly important for bruxism patients because grinding teeth can wear them down over time. An extremely high level of pressure is placed on the teeth, which can lead to cracks. A custom-fitted dental mouth guard can relieve the issue entirely.
Mouth Guards for Orthodontics
Although mouth guards typically protect only the top teeth, special mouth guards for the bottom teeth can also be made. Custom mouth guards are essential if you use any type of orthodontic appliance, including braces or fixed bridge work.
Mouth Guards for Sports
Mouth guards for sports should be considered any time you are playing a full contact sport such as hockey or football. These mouth guards need to be both durable and to fit well – that ensures that they will not accidentally cause irritation or other discomfort in the event of a blow.
Remember, accidents can happen in any strenuous physical activity. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to seriously consider the use of a mouth guard even when you are engaged in non-contact sports.
Central Avenue Dental is here to help you make the right choice about mouth guards or other treatment. Our experts provide the highest level of care from convenient Manhattan and Valley Stream locations. No matter what your dental concern may be, we can help.
To find out more or get started with our New York dentist office, contact us today.