Types of Mouth-Guards and Their Uses

Apr 01, 2020

Mouthguardsare custom-fitted to your teeth to prevent damage during recreational activities or sports. They are essential for you if you have braces or want to protect your crowns or bridgework. You can, however, wear them to avoid damage from trauma to preserve your smile.

They also provide a barrier between your teeth, tongue, and cheek tissues to minimize the risk of injury. Mouthguards for grinding are suitable for people who clench or grind their teeth when sleeping. Burton Dentistry offers various types of mouthguards, depending on your dental situation.

A rightmouthguard should:

  1. Ensure easy breathing and smooth speech
  2. Not slip out or dislodge during action
  3. Be a perfect fit and highly comfortable
  4. Be easy to clean and has durability
  5. Be tasteless, odorless, tough and tear-resistant

Ideally, mouth guards are worn in the upper jaw. Our dentists can also recommend a mouth guard on the lower teeth if you have dental devices such as veneers, retainers, bridgeworks, or dentures in your lower jaw. Athletes with pronounced jaws might also need lower-jaw mouth guards.

Types of Mouthguards

  • Stock Mouthguard

This is the most popular kind of mouthguard. It’s not costly and is widely available for purchase in drug stores and sports stores. They are mostly meant to cover the top teeth and come in different sizes, shapes to provide a perfect fit on your teeth.

Despite them being easy to find and inexpensive, their downside is they aren’t close fitting and can be uncomfortable. This makes speaking and breathing when wearing one challenging. They also provide minimum protection.

  • Boil and Bite mouthguard

These are similar to stock mouth protectors in that they are relatively inexpensive and can be found in various local drugstores. They are crafted with a thermoplastic material that you place in hot boiling water to soften. They also come in one size that is customized to fit your teeth.

To wear them, you take it out of the hot water and place on your teeth then bite to fix. You can also use your finger or tongue pressure to shape it around the teeth.

  • Custom-tailored mouthguards

You don’t need to buy this protector from a shop. They are custom made in the office by your dentist then fixed. A mold of your teeth is taken then used to create a mouthguard specific for your tooth structure.

Compared to Boil-and-Bite and stock mouthguards, they provide a better fit for your teeth and are more comfortable. They also don’t easily slip out or dislodge during an activity or while sleeping. They also prevent night snoring and are the best option if you suffer sleep apnea.

They are more costly compared to readily made mouthguards, but most dental insurance policies fully cover for this procedure.

Uses of Mouthguards

Various types of mouthguards may seem similar, but they can serve different functions.

1. Sports

Mouthguards are essential for sports involving a higher risk of injuries to your face, such as falling and impacts. They protect your tongue, lips, cheeks, and tongue from substantial damage. Mouthguards for kids are also available for children’s sports.

If you play the following sports, it’s important to wear a mouthguard: football, soccer, basketball, hockey, skating, ice sports, boxing, softball, and gymnastics.

2. Teeth grinding (bruxism)

Bruxism can cause various oral problems such as toothaches, sored gums, and painful jaws. With a mouth guard, your upper and lower teeth are separated, so there is no risk of damage from grinding or exerted pressure. Custom-fitted mouthguards are the best mouth guards for teeth grinding. Other types can easily slip and come out while sleeping and are somewhat uncomfortable.

3. Sleep Apnea

Nightguards for teeth are necessary when you have sleep apnea, a disorder causing an involuntary stop in breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea deprives the brain of enough oxygen, which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Mouthguards control this condition by pushing your tongue and lower jaw forward, maintaining an open airway. Stock and Boil-and-bite mouth protectors are not the best for this purpose.

4. Snoring

Just like with sleep apnea, mouth guards adjust your lower jaw for an open airway, which prevents deep snoring. Custom-fitted mouthguards are best recommended for preventing snoring as they can be tailored to your specifications. You should consult with your dentist concerning mouthguard options if your snoring makes you agitated.

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