Mouth Guard Types & Advantages

Who should consider using a mouth guard?

Anyone who plays contact sports needs to protect their teeth from damage or injury. Most importantly if you have fixed bridgework, you should definitely consider wearing a mouth guard when you take the risk of harming your teeth.

It is advisable to remove plates, or other orthodontic appliances during sports or recreational activities which could cause mouth injury. Mouth guards are used not only to prevent teeth from being knocked out, but also to prevent teeth chipping, or cracking, or nerves getting damaged.

Types of mouth guards

You will have a choice between three kinds of mouth guards:

1. Stock mouth guards

These mouth guards come ready-to-wear from sport stores. Dentists don’t recommend them because they offer no protection, make breathing and talking difficult, and the fit can’t be adjusted.

2. Boil and bite mouth guards

You will also find these at sports stores. You heat them in boiling water to soften, and then bite on them to take the shape of your mouth and teeth. They are made from thermoplastic material, and may offer a slightly better fit than stock protectors but are still far from ideal.

3. Custom-made mouth guards

These are the best, and will fit you perfectly because your Delta dentist will design it or have it made specifically for you. A mold is made of your mouth, and a special material is used to make the protective guard. These protective guards will fit perfectly and be comfortable so you will be able to breathe and talk. A custom-made mouth guard will afford your teeth the best protection.

Usually mouth guards are used on the top teeth only, but your dentist will advise you on what will be best for your protection. If you have braces, your dentist will make sure they won’t injure you on contact if they are fixed to your teeth.

Grinding of teeth

Bruxism, or teeth grinding may be caused by stress or anxiety. Many adults as well as children grind their teeth in their sleep. This wears teeth down and damages them. It is important to visit your dentist to have a teeth protective guard custom-made.

Not only contact sports

Protective mouth guards should not only be used by people playing contact sports such as football, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, kick boxing and boxing, most martial arts, or hockey.

When you do non-contact sports such as gymnastics, or recreational activities such as skateboarding, mountain biking or skiing you are also at risk of mouth injury. It is better to wear protective mouth guards when taking part in these activities.

Your dentist knows best

Visit your dentist and ask if it is advisable for you to get a protective mouth guard for the activities you participate in because accidents do happen and prevention is much better than having to fix broken teeth that could become a problem later in life. Protective mouth gear also helps prevent injury to your tongue, lips, and soft tissue in your mouth, such as the inside of your cheeks, and lips.

If you wake up with a sore jaw or clenched teeth, you may well need a mouth guard to protect your teeth while sleeping. Your dentist can confirm whether there are signs of wear and will recommend a mouth guard if you are damaging your teeth.