Role of Mouth Guards in Ensuring Good Oral Health

Role of Mouth Guards in Ensuring Good Oral Health

Nov 01, 2020

The American Dental Association estimates that one third of dental injuries in America are related to sports or high impact activities. It is thought that the use of mouth guards can help prevent more than 200, 000 of such injuries ach year. Some of the common types of injuries that can happen without the use of a mouth guard in Sterling, VA include: chipped or broken teeth, fractured crowns, soft tissue injuries, fractured jaws, root damage and knocked out tooth. Anyone that engages in sports and any physical activities whether as a professional or enthusiast is at risk of oral injuries that can be prevented with wearing a mouth guard.

What Exactly Are Mouth Guards?

They are removable and flexible dental appliances that fit over your teeth to cushion any impact. They also put a barrier between the teeth and soft tissues, thereby reducing the risk of injury to the tongue, cheeks and lips. Mouth guards are mostly worn over the top teeth only. However, in some special instances the dentist at Westlake Dental Care may advice you wear them on the lower teeth too. This is especially necessary for patients with a protruding jaw or those wearing orthodontic appliances. Besides helping prevent sports-related injuries, dentist can also prescribe mouth guards for teeth grinding, snoring, sleep apnea and jaw pain.

Types of Mouth Guards

There are different mouth guards available depending on the intended use. But whatever the intended function is, an ideal mouth guard should have the following take into account the following elements:

  • Allow you to comfortable speak and breath
  • Stay in place at all time even during extreme action
  • Be comfortable and fit well
  • Long-lasting and easy to care for
  • Remain tasteless, odorless and resistant to tear

Stock Mouth Guards

They are readily available in most drug stores and sports stores, and are ready to wear. They are quite affordable since they come pre-formed but they are also the least comfortable since they come in a standard-fit-all size. And because they rarely fit well, they also provide minimal protection. Stock guards are made from rubber or polyvinyl which makes them bulky and increase their tendency to sag. Those that wear them may also find it difficult to talk and breath since they need the jaw to stay closed to keep them in position.

Boil and Bite Guards

Before you wear these guards, you first have to soften them in hot water and then mold it around the teeth with the help of your fingers, tongue, lips and biting pressure. If after the first attempt you still find the guard uncomfortable, you can reheat it and attempt to fit it again. These provide a better fit than stock guards but they also have some downfalls such as being bulky. Also, a good fit depends on how good you are at molding the rubber around your teeth.

Custom Mouth Guards

These have a number of advantages over the first two, but that comes with a dent to your pocket. They offer the best fit and highest degree of comfort and protection since they are custom made. This means that they take into account the unique features of your mouth. A dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send it to lab where a custom-fit mouth guard is created based on that impression obtained. Custom-fitted mouth guards cover all the teeth and cushions against high impact.

Night Guards

If you suffer from sleep related conditions such as sleep apnea, bruxism or snoring, your dentist at Westlake Dental Care can recommend the use of night guards. These types of guards are individually made to address the unique needs of each patient. If the issue is snoring, the type of night guards used is called a snoring mouthpiece. There are different kinds available but your dentist will advise on which is the best. Night guards usually have a slightly different design from general mouthguards. They may be worn over the teeth but also contain extra features to solve the targeted issue.

If you are interested in learning more ways which you can protect your teeth with mouth guards, book an appointment or visit our dental office today to meet our friendly yet very professional an experienced team.

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