Mouth guards are an essential oral tool you can use to protect your teeth from the effects of aggressive physical contact.
If you play physical sports like football, mouth guards are an efficient way to protect you against damage. Mouth guards also help protect against the effects of tooth grinding and clenching.
Our experts at Life Long Dental will fix a dental mouth guard in your mouth and help keep you safe.
If you didn't know about mouth guards, our experts are here to help answer your questions about them.
What is a Mouth Guard?
A mouth guard is a special oral device used to cover your teeth and protect them from damage.
There are several reasons why you might need a mouth guard; for instance, a mouth guard for grinding teeth prevents the impact of clenching and grinding.
A sports mouth guard protects your tongue, teeth, cheeks, and gums from the trauma caused by sports activities.
This is why dental mouth guards are crucial in safeguarding your oral health.
Types of Mouth Guards
If you want a mouth guard, there are different mouth guards to choose from, and knowing them will help you make an informed decision.
Generally, there are two major categories of mouth guards: those designed to protect patients from the effects of teeth grinding and bruxism, and guards designed to shield your teeth from the effects of physical sports.
Every type of mouth guard serves a specific purpose and is applied only in specific situations. Mouth guards look and feel different from each other. This is one of the reasons why our patients opt for specific guards.
The different types of mouth guards include:
|Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards - These are one of the most common mouth guards. They are made from a thermoplastic material that you can shape to fit in your mouth. To use these mouth guards, you first have to soften them in hot water.
The water shouldn't be too hot as boiling water could damage them. Then, gently put the softened mouth guard into your mouth and use your thumb and pointer finger to press it onto the front teeth and molars.
When the mouth guard feels like it is in the right position, bite down on it for about 20 seconds. After that, remove the oral device and run it under cold water.
Repeat these steps a few more times if necessary to achieve the perfect shape. You can also have our experts help you place the mouth guard in your mouth if you don't know how to use them.
|Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards - These are another common type of mouth guard. With this type, we will use an impression of your teeth to make a custom mouth guard that fits your teeth and gums.
These mouth guards are usually more comfortable because they are designed to fit in your mouth. It is essential to note that custom-fitted mouth guards cost more than traditional ones.
This is justified as these are the best options for safety and comfort. We will create a custom mouth guard that addresses your specific needs.
Whether you want a mouth guard for TMJ or a sleep mouth guard, we will create something that helps address specific concerns. Night guards are also a great option for those with teeth-grinding problems.
Therefore, we recommend getting custom mouth guards that best protect your mouth and teeth.
|Stock Mouth Guards - These are mouth guards that come ready to wear. They have a one-size-fits-all design that makes them suitable for different purposes.
Because they are not customized to your mouth and teeth, these mouth guards rarely fit and can be uncomfortable. They are also bulky and could cause breathing problems, especially in children.
Stock mouth guards are the least common mouth guard types and offer the least protection against aggressive damage.
We only recommend these guards for one-time use such as during light sporting activities that don't pose a great risk to your teeth.
|Adjustable Mouth Guards: You can also use adjustable mouth guards. These mouth guards come with adjustable pieces that rest between your teeth as you sleep at night.
This explains why they are also referred to as adjustable night guards. With such technology, you can easily acquire a mouthguard for braces in our offices.
Benefits of Wearing a Mouth Guard
You might wonder, why you should wear a mouth guard, and if they are safe. If so, here are some of the reasons why mouth guards are important.
|Provide Protection - Your teeth and gums are very vulnerable when you play physical games like football and hockey. There is a risk of your teeth being knocked out during the game.
People with teeth grinding and clenching problems also benefit from mouth guards. They protect your teeth against the effects of bruxism and help keep them in good condition.
|Manage TMJ - TMJ symptoms can be overwhelming, especially in the advanced stages. Mouth guards help prevent and reduce these symptoms, making you more comfortable.
They shield your teeth from pressing against each other causing discomfort. This is why you should consider using them.
|Improve Sleep - Thanks to night guards, you will have a more peaceful sleep. These guards help your jaw muscles relax and create a more conducive environment for sleep.
The effects of bruxism and grinding can also be disruptive to your sleep. Sleep mouth guards keep these effects at bay and give you the comfort you need.
How To Care for Mouth Guards
Taking good care of mouth guards is vital for their durability. Just like natural teeth, mouth guards pick up bacteria from your mouth and can become infectious. This is why you should ensure they are thoroughly cleaned after use.
Here are some of the things you should do to keep your mouth guard clean.
|Brush Your Mouth Guard - You should brush your mouth guard as often as possible. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your mouth guard using a toothbrush and toothpaste just like you brush your teeth.
For the best results, brush it thoroughly. Ensure you clean every part of the mouth guard to get rid of bacteria.
|Rinse - After brushing your mouth guard, rinse it with cool water to eliminate bacteria and food debris. You should also avoid eating sticky foods that can harm the mouth guard.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Oral health is essential for your well-being.
Mouth guards will protect your teeth and prevent them from possible damage. Our experts at Life Long Dental are ready to apply mouth guards to help protect your teeth.
Call (360) 633-2377 today to schedule your appointment.