Mouthguard = Sports Guard
Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports
There are three types of mouth guards:
1. Stock mouth protectors are preformed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting good stores and department stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky and make breathing and talking difficult and they provide little or no protection. Dentists do not recommend their use.
2. Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The “boil and bite” mouth guard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure.
3.Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist’s instructions. First, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is then molded over the model using a special material. Due to the use of the special material and because of the extra time and work involved, this custom-made mouth guard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and best fit and protection.
All properly fitted mouthguards provide varying degrees of protection. A custom-fitted mouthguard professionally made in the dental office can be tailored to the demands of the athlete and the sport.
The most effective mouthguard should have several features. It should be resilient, tear-resistant and comfortable. It should fit properly, be durable and easy to clean, and not restrict your speech or breathing.
Generally, a mouthguard covers only the upper teeth but in some cases the dentist will make a mouthguard for the lower teeth as well. Your dentist can suggest the right one for you.
If you have a mouthguard, take good care it.
How Do I Care for My Mouth Guard?
To care for your mouth guard:
- Rinse your mouth guard with cold water or with a mouth rinse before and after each use and/or clean it with toothpaste and a toothbrush.
- Occasionally clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly.
- Place the mouth guard in a firm, perforated container to store or transport it. This permits air circulation and helps to prevent damage.
- Protect the mouth guard from high temperatures – such as hot water, hot surfaces, or direct sunlight – to minimize distorting its shape.
- Occasionally check the mouth guard for general wear. If you find holes or tears in it or if it becomes loose or causes discomfort, replace it.
- Bring the mouth guard to each regularly scheduled dental visit to have your dentist exam it.