Mouth guards are dental appliances used to protect your teeth and mouth from fracture or injury. Usually, patients wear them as part of a sports requirement. We encourage those who play contact sports like martial arts, basketball, and rugby to wear one. Without the proper protection, players often suffer from serious dental mishaps that result in tooth extraction. There are three types of dental guards:
- Stock guard – The most common type of mouth guard, this is accessible to most patients over the counter from a sporting goods store, but it also has drawbacks; as they are premade in one size, which often causes discomfort due to bulkiness, they are not flexible and may resist force, which can lead to more damage
- Boil and bite – Some users prefer these mouth guards since boil and bite guards are made from thermoplastic material, which is malleable when heated (therefore, softened and malleable when submerged in hot water); this creates a custom fit with more safety and comfort, but they are still not professionally made to order and may not fit entirely well
- Custom-fitted – Only available from your dentist, with better features that guarantee superior comfort and protection; although more costly, your dentist will take an exact impression of your teeth to create the perfect fit with the help of a dental lab and save them from trauma and damage
A custom-fitted mouth guard helps guarantee more comfort, security, and a good fit within your mouth. They can also be manually designed to adjust the proper thickness and resistance.
Mouth guards and splints are also helpful occlusal appliances in preventing tooth damage due to grinding. They consist of soft, but firm, plastic materials that patients wear over teeth, greatly reducing the force of contact on your teeth and jaw.
To learn more about mouth guards and see if you can benefit from one to protect your teeth during physical activity or help to reduce grinding, please get in touch with us. At Wortley Road Dental, we encourage our existing and new patients to call, email, visit, and ask questions.