At Dhotrad’s Sunny Dental Clincis, in addition to helping patients with a beautiful and natural-looking smile ensure care and safety of the teeth. We are skilled at providing a variety of Mouthguards based on the need to protect the teeth and to guarantee years of smiles.
What is a Mouthguard?
Mouth guard also known as nightguard or biteguard is a device used to protect the teeth from grinding or clenching while you sleep or from injuries while one plays sports. They can also help to reduce snoring and relieve obstructive sleep apnea.
However, not all mouthguards are the same. There are three main types, depending on the needs, including which ones are best for certain situations.
What are the types of Mouthguards?
A stock mouthguard is the most widely available and affordable type of mouthguard. One can find them at most sporting goods stores and drug stores.
They usually come in small, medium, and large sizes and fit over the teeth. Most stock mouthguards only cover the top teeth.
While stock mouthguards are easy to find and inexpensive, they do have some downsides. Due to their limited size options, they’re usually uncomfortable and don’t provide a tight fit. This can also make it hard to talk while wearing one.
Similar to stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards are sold in most drugstores and are relatively inexpensive.
Instead of coming in a few sizes, boil-and-bite mouthguards come in one size that one can customize to fit ones teeth. This involves boiling the mouthguard until it softens and then placing it over the front teeth and biting down.
To get the best fit, one needs to make sure one follows the instructions that come with it.
One can also get a mouthguard custom-made by the dentist. A mold of the teeth is taken and is used to create a mouthguard specifically for the structure of the teeth and mouth.
This provides a much better fit than either a stock or boil-and-bite mouthguard does, which makes them more comfortable and harder to accidentally dislodge while sleeping.
If one grinds the teeth, snore, or have sleep apnea, a custom-made mouthguard is the best option.
What type of Mouthguard should be used?
While different types of mouthguards look similar to each other, they have very different functions, namely
Certain sports and activities carry a high risk of falling or resulting in injuries that can impact the face. A mouthguard can help to protect the teeth and prevent them from injuring the lips or tongue.
It is especially important to use a mouthguard if one is involved in any of the following:
• Field hockey
• Ice hockey
• In-line skating
Teeth grinding and clenching are part of a condition called bruxism, which is a sleep-related movement disorder that can cause a variety of problems, such as tooth pain, jaw pain, and sore gums. It can also damage the teeth.
Wearing a mouthguard while sleeping can help keep the top and bottom teeth separated so they do not damage each other from the pressure of grinding or clenching.
If one is not sure whether one needs a mouthguard for bruxism, one can always try a boil-and-bite mouthguard for a few nights. If it seems to help, talk to the dentist about getting a custom guard.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that causes a person to temporarily stop breathing while asleep. This can prevent the brain from receiving enough oxygen and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also cause excessive snoring and leave one feeling groggy the next day.
Instead of simply covering the teeth, a mouthguard for sleep apnea works by pushing your lower jaw and tongue forward, keeping the airway open. Some types have a strap that goes around the head and chin to re-adjust the lower jaw.
Mouthguards can also help to reduce snoring, which happens due to vibrations of soft tissue in your upper airway. They tend to work similarly to mouthguards for sleep apnea. Both types work by pulling your lower jaw forward to keep the airway open. How to care for the Mouthguard It’s important to protect your mouthguard from damage and keep it clean since it spends a lot of time in your mouth.
To get the most out of your mouthguard, follow these steps:
• Brush and floss teeth before putting in the mouthguard.
• Rinse the mouthguard with cool water or mouthwash before putting it in and after taking it out. Avoid using hot water, which can warp its shape.
• Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean it after each use.
• Regularly check for holes or other signs of damage, which mean it needs to be replaced.
• Bring the mouthguard to any dentist appointments one has. They can make sure it still fits properly and works.
• Store the mouthguard in a hard container with some ventilation to protect it and allow it to dry out between uses.
• Keep the mouthguard out of reach of any pets, even if the guard is in a container.
Keep in mind that mouthguards do not last forever. Replace the mouthguard as soon as any holes or a sign of wear is noticed, or every two to three years.