Mouthguards and Protection: Everything That You Need to Know
Mouthguards are oral appliances in dentistry that protect natural teeth from external trauma caused by accidents and injuries. The primary goal of using mouthguards in dentistry is to protect your oral cavity. As such, mouthguards are considered oral appliances for preventive dentistry.
Technically, mouthguards work by protecting your upper teeth. However, your dentist may recommend a mouthguard for both your upper and lower teeth, depending on the underlying circumstances. It is a common approach for patients with other dental devices like braces. An ideal mouthguard should:
Amply protect your teeth from cracks, chips, and breaks.
Allow you to breathe properly.
Allow you to speak well.
Stay in place without moving unnecessarily.
Comfortable to wear
Resistant to tears
Tasteless and odorless
Who Needs a Mouthguard?
Mouthguards do not exist for usage by particular people in society. Generally, anyone can benefit from mouthguards. If you have to be in situations that put your dental health at risk of external trauma, consider getting a mouthguard. However, some groups of people need mouth protectors more than others, including the following:
Sportspersons – especially those involved in high contact sports like boxing, football, and rugby.
Children – especially hyperactive children, typically at a higher risk of getting into accidents. Other kids with developmental problems related to mobility, balance, or mental activity can benefit from mouthguards.
Patients who grind their teeth – special types of mouthguards can help treat bruxism, a condition that features excessive teeth grinding.
Why Use a Mouthguard When Playing Sports?
The people who use mouthguards the most are sportspersons. The reason is that they are at a higher risk of incurring dental accidents that is typical for everyone else. When playing sports, you cannot predict when you will fall or collide with a teammate or opponent. It is, therefore, advisable that you put on protective armor as a proactive measure to protect yourself. As such, consider mouthguards similar to knee pads and helmets that protect other parts of your body.
Types of Mouthguards
Mouthguards differ based on their design and creation. The common types of mouthguards in dentistry are:
Stock mouth protectors – are the most readily available mouth protectors. You can find them at a local vendor near you. These mouthguards are pre-made and come in a one-size-fits-all. For that reason, sometimes these mouthguards can feel uncomfortable, making it even difficult to breathe and speak well.
Boil and bite mouthguards – they are also pre-made like stock mouth protectors. However, the material for these mouthguards is thermoplastic. It means that it expands and contracts accordingly with temperature changes. Therefore, to wear the mouthguard, you need to dip it in hot water before shaping it for a proper fit in your mouth. You can use your finger or tongue to fit the mouthguard to your teeth.
Customized mouthguards – at Family Dental Care – Crestwood, we recommend these types of mouthguards to our patients since they are the best. Dentists make them based on the impressions of a patient’s mouth. They fit perfectly and serve the exact purpose they are meant for, based on a dentist’s diagnosis and prognosis. A dentist can even customize the mouth protectors for use at night to treat or manage particular oral problems.
Benefits of Mouthguards
Ultimately, the best type of mouthguard is that which is custom made for your mouth. It serves the intended purpose without compromising your comfort and functionality. Some other benefits of wearing a mouthguard are:
They prevent severe dental issues – instead of always rushing to a dentist in Crestwood for urgent dental care, you can choose to wear a mouthguard. Dental mouthguards prevent many dental problems that result from accidents and injuries.
To protect your teeth – teeth are easily damaged by dental trauma. You can incur chips, cracks, or breaks on your teeth. The worst-case scenario would be having knocked out teeth, which is highly likely after an injury. Mouthguards cushion your teeth to absorb most of the shock you incur after dental trauma, which is why they are called teeth protectors.
To protect your jawbone – mouthguards do not just cushion your teeth but also protect your jawbone, preventing fractures.
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