Why You May Need a Mouthguard
Mouthguards should be used by anyone who is interested in protecting their teeth. You may benefit from a mouthguard if you play contact sports like football, soccer, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, or boxing. Patients who participate in other physical activities like skateboarding, mountain biking, and gymnastics will also benefit from wearing a mouthguard.
One of the main reasons we may recommend a mouthguard is bruxism. Bruxism or teeth grinding refers to the condition of clenching your teeth tightly and rubbing them against each other. Many people may not know they suffer from bruxism because often it happens while you sleep. The first person to notice symptoms of bruxism is usually a sleeping partner. Dr. Jeremy D. Kay DMD may also notice signs of wear during your routine examination.
Bruxism can lead to serious oral health complications. Long-term bruxism can cause severe damage to your enamel. You make experience chipped teeth, cracked enamel, tooth wear, gum recession, tooth collapse, and even tooth loss.
Types of Mouthguards
In general, there are three types of mouthguards:
- Stock Guards. Stock guards are store-bought and come performed. While they are an inexpensive option, stock guards are bulky and make talking and breathing difficult. They also provide little in the way of protection and comfort.
- Boil and Bite Guards. Boil and Bite Guards are also a store-bought product that comes performed. However, these guards are made of a thermoplastic material that can be shaped around the teeth after they have been boiled. While they are better than stock guards, they still offer less protection, comfort, and durability than custom fit mouthguards.
- Custom Fit Guards. Custom fit guards are designed and fabricated by us. To receive a custom fit guard, we make an impression of your teeth and send it to our dental laboratory. There, they will use the impression to fabricate your mouthguard with a special type of plastic. Custom fit guards offer superior comfort, durability, and protection!
Caring for Your Mouthguards
After you receive your mouthguard, there are several steps you can take to ensure its longevity. Be sure to rinse and clean the mouthguard with cool water and mild soap. You should also avoid hot temperatures to prevent your mouthguard from warping. Bring your mouthguard to your routine appointments so that we can check the fit and effectiveness.
A mouthguard will typically last a year or so, depending on how often you wear it. If you suffer from nocturnal bruxism, you should wear your mouthguard every night. If you find any holes or tears in your mouthguard, be sure to contact us so that we can fabricate a replacement.
Schedule an Appointment
If you would like to learn more about mouthguards, call (215) 567-0800, and schedule an appointment today!