Mouthguards are dental appliances that help protect your teeth, tongue, gums, and cheeks from trauma caused by teeth grinding or sports injuries. It helps to reduce the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face, or jaw and cushion the face against any blows. They usually cover the upper teeth and offer a perfect solution to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips, and cheek lining.
What Are the Various Types of Mouthguards?
There are two main types of mouthguards. One is manufactured to ensure protection for the teeth from sports trauma or other athletic activities; while the second type is made for patients with bruxism or teeth grinding. These mouth appliances are made for different purposes and thus will look and feel different. The different subtypes of mouthguards include:
Customized mouthguards: For this type of mouthguard, the dentist will first take an impression of your teeth to fabricate a customized mouthguard that fits comfortably on your teeth and mouth. The cost of customized mouthguards is considerably more than the ready-made ones, but they help provide the best fit and protection. A custom mouthguard will be made precisely for your needs, whether to offer protection from trauma during athletic competition or for use at night if you have a teeth-grinding habit. A customized mouthguard prepared by your dentist does the best job of protecting your teeth and mouth.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards: These mouthguards are composed of a thermoplastic material that can be shaped at home to fit your teeth. The mouthguard has to be softened by placing it in hot water. The softened mouthguard should be put inside the mouth and pressed onto the molars and front teeth with your fingers. If you feel the mouthguard is in the correct position, you bite down for about 20 seconds. Then the device can be removed and rinsed in running cold water. These steps can be repeated to reshape the mouthguard for the best fit.
Modifiable over-the-counter mouthguards: It includes sliding pieces that rest between your teeth while you sleep.
Ready-to-wear mouthguards: These one-size-fits-all mouthguards are pre-fabricated and ready to wear. They rarely fit well since they are not made, especially for your teeth. Breathing can become difficult due to their bulkiness and poor fit. Among these mouthguards, the one that offers the least protection is the stock mouthguard.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Mouthguard?
The replacement and repairing of missing teeth can be a costly and painful situation. Thus wearing a mouthguard during athletic activities can help you avoid chipped or lost teeth, nerve damage to a tooth, or soft-tissue injuries to lips, gums, tongue, and inside cheeks.
Call Austgen Family Dental at (317) 885-6400 to know more about Mouth Guards or
schedule an appointment online.