Mouthguards: What You Need to Know About Their Uses, Types and Benefits

Mouthguards: What You Need to Know About Their Uses, Types and Benefits

Jun 01, 2020

A mouthguard is a dental prosthetic made of either soft plastic, acrylic or laminate substance that is worn on the teeth for protective purposes.

These prosthetics are ideally used to protect teeth from sports-related trauma injuries, or the effects of bruxism – a sleep disorder that causes individuals to grind or clench their teeth.

Mouthguards may also be prescribed by a dentist near you to help deal with obstructive sleep apnea and to reduce on snoring drastically.

Several types of mouthguards may be available either in a store near you or at a dentist near you. However, you have to consider several factors when picking out a mouthguard.

Here are some of the things you have to consider:

  • Its purpose or use
  • Comfort
  • Biocompatibility
  • The fit of the mouthguard

Types of Mouthguards and Their Uses

There predominantly three main types of mouthguards. They are all designed to serve different purposes that may range from sports activities to dealing with bruxism and sleep apnea. You have to factor in the reason you need a mouthguard when selecting one.

  1. Stock Mouthguards

This is the most commonly available and widely used type of mouthguard. You can pick one at a sporting goods store or even your neighborhood drug store.

These mouth guards are designed to cover your top teeth only and are packaged to come in three different sizes, which may range from, large, medium or small.

These three sizes may seem likely to offer a diverse size range that you can select from; however, this is not always the case. Most people complain that stock mouthguards usually tend to be ill-fitting and even uncomfortable to wear.

Stock mouthguards are made from polyvinyl or rubber and are also often quite bulky. Breathing and talking are labored when using this type of mouthguard because you have to use your jaw to keep it in place when using it.

These have proved to be some of its major consumer issues. They are used during sporting activities to protect players from incurring dental injuries, but cannot be used as a night guard for teeth grinding or dealing with sleep apnea and snoring due to its ill-fitting nature.

  1. Boil-and-Bite Down Mouthguards

This mouthguard is made of thermoplastic rubber. As the name suggests, these mouthguards are placed in boiling water till it gets soft then all you have to do is place it on your front teeth and bite down on it.

They come in a one size fits all package, and you have to follow the instructions to customize it to your exact fit.

This mouth-formed mouth guard tends to fit better and is more comfortable to wear than the stock mouthguard. They are used to prevent dental injuries that can be incurred during contact sports. They, however, cannot be used as a night guard for teeth grinding or for controlling sleep apnea because they can shift out of position as you sleep.

  1. Custom Mouthguard

A custom mouthguard offers the best fit among all other types of mouthguards. They can only be designed by a dentist near you.

The dentist will take an imprint or mold of your teeth and use it to design a mouth guard that precisely conforms to the exact structure of your teeth and mouth.

These custom-fitted mouthguards are comfortable to wear and will not impair your speech or breathing. Because these custom made mouthguards fit snugly, they can be comfortably used as a night guard for teeth grinding or to dealing with sleep apnea or snoring.

Benefits of Mouthguards

Several benefits of mouth guards:

  • Mouthguards protect your teeth during contact sports, reducing the risk of having knocked out, chipped or broken teeth.
  • Mouthguards also protect you against tissue and facial injuries such as cuts on your tongue or cheeks that could happen during impact in a sporting activity.
  • They protect your orthodontic appliances such as bridges or braces from damage during sports activities.
  • Night mouth guards protect your teeth from the wearing effects of bruxism or teeth grinding.
  • Night mouthguards deal with sleep apnea, bruxism and snoring, thus ensuring that you get better sleep and wake up feeling fresh the next day.

Mouthguards could go a long way in saving you lots of money that you could be used to deal with dental issues and emergencies.

At El Dorado Hills Town Center Dental, we employ top-notch technology when designing custom made mouth guards. Visit us today and get fitted right.

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