Mouthguards: All You Need To Know

Nov 01, 2019

Mouthguards are dental appliances used in dentistry to serve as coverings that are worn over teeth. The role of mouthguards is to protect the teeth of a patient from injury. Injuries can be accidents that happen, for example, during sports. It is why the field of dentistry is inclusive of sports mouthguards, like in Coppell, Texas.

However, mouthguards are also used to protect the teeth from excessive teeth grinding that might cause thinning to the enamel and increase tooth sensitivity. A Coppell dentist will suggest it as a solution to help keep the jaw of the patient apart. This way, the upper and lower teeth will not clench or exert pressure on each other.

What Are the Different Types of Mouthguards?

Mouthguards are, in most cases, made for the upper teeth. Only in unique situations will a dentist near Farmers Branch TX make a mouthguard for the lower teeth. Even then, the types of mouthguards available in dentistry differ. Once you visit a dental office in Coppell TX, you will interact with either of the following types of mouthguards:

  • Stock mouth protectors – they are the most common types of mouthguards. You can quickly get them at the nearest sports store or a pharmacy. They come ready to wear. They are made with a thick material, which makes them heavy to wear. This can make it difficult to talk, and sometimes even breathe. The main disadvantage of these protectors is that you cannot do much to adjust their fit since they come ready to wear.
  • Boil and bite mouth protectors – like with stock mouth protectors, you can find these mouthguards in a sports store near you. However, they differ in how they are made. The thermoplastic material used in making them is placed in hot water. This will soften it. The protector is then placed in the mouth and shaped according to the dental features of the individual. You can adjust the shape using the tongue or your fingers. Its adjustability to offer a better fit is its advantage over the stock mouth protectors.
  • Custom-fitted mouth protectors – these qualify as the best-fitted dental protectors because they are customized for the perfect fit. They are usually made in a laboratory or dental office. The protocol to make them relies on the directives of a dentist. A dentist makes an impression of a patient’s teeth before determining the size and shape of the mouthguard. Given the delicate nature of the procedure, the custom-fitted mouth protectors are the most expensive of all dental protectors & night guards. However, they are worth every dime, given how perfectly they fit and how comfortable they are to wear. Besides, they offer the maximum protection to teeth.

How to Know You Have the Best Mouthguard

A dentist will often recommend a mouthguard that best suits your situation. With all the options laid out for you, it is your decision on which one you are ready to spend money on to protect your teeth. When a mouthguard is not effective, you will know. Some of the things to look out for include:

  • Ability to speak – if you cannot talk with your mouthguard on, you probably have the wrong fit.
  • Restricted breathing – it can be fatal if your mouthguard restricts you from breathing correctly.
  • Comfort level – if your mouth is sore all the time you have the mouthguard on, then you need to replace it.
  • Tear and wear – a good quality mouthguard should resist easy damage and wear. It should be durable, based on the material used to make it. Besides, if it tears easily, how much protection will it offer your teeth?

When Should You Get a Mouthguard?

Your visit to the dentist should inform the decision to get a mouthguard. However, unlike most dental treatment, anyone can wear a mouthguard. Since their primary function is to protect the teeth from injury, everyone is a candidate for the mouthguard.

However, people that engage in sports a lot are most recommended to wear mouthguards. This includes both children and adults. The kind of sports you participate in, however, matters. People in contact sports are more likely to secure injuries on their faces. Such games include football, rugby, lacrosse, boxing, and soccer, to mention a few.

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