Teeth are tough, but sometimes not tough enough to survive intense contact. Mouth guards are an easy way to protect your teeth from impact or grinding, or even from accidental injury while being active. Guards can help prevent teeth from getting broken, chipped, or knocked out, and limit nerve damage and other injuries to soft tissue in the mouth.
Anyone, whether they are children or adults, should use a protective mouth guard when participating in any type of contact sports, including: hockey, basketball, football, baseball or soccer.
Dentists also recommend using mouth guards for anyone participating in non-contact sports and certain recreational activities.
Guards and similar devices, like bite splints and nocturnal bite plates, are also used for those who grind their teeth or clench their jaw at night. They can help prevent damage to teeth, soft tissue, and nerves.
Stock guards are the most basic option. You can find them at sporting goods stores and they only cost a few dollars. However, their bulky build means they offer the least amount of protection in comparison to the other options.
Boil and Bite
Boil and bite guards are fairly inexpensive, costing around $20, and are also found in sporting stores. They are made from a thermoplastic material that becomes malleable when heated in hot water. Once you boil them, place them in your mouth and shape them around your teeth using your fingers or tongue. Boil and bite guards offer slightly better protection and fit than stock guards.
Custom guards offer the best fit and protection, as they are specifically designed for your mouth. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth then mold the guard material over the impression.
Before and after each use, rinse your guard off in cool water or mouth rinse, or clean it with mild soap and a toothbrush. Store it in a firm container with perforations for air circulation. Acrylic guards must be kept in fresh water.
If you or your child are participating in sporting activities, have active recreational activities, or grind teeth at night, getting a custom-fitted mouth guard can go a long way to preventing future damage from occurring. Call Fonthill Marketplace Dental today to set up an appointment.