A mouthguard is a protective dental appliance that safeguards your teeth against damage and excessive wear. Sports guards are often worn during athletic activities. They are also used to protect patients with bridges or braces. Typically, mouthguards are designed to fit over the upper teeth. This type of device not only prevents damage to the teeth, but it also protects the lips, tongue, and cheeks.
At WestLake Dental Care custom-fitted mouthguards in Sterling. However, there are several types available, some over the counter, such as:
A custom-fitted mouthguard is considered the best option because they are made to fit your mouth perfectly. Custom-fitted mouthguards are made by your dentist by taking an impression of your teeth. They tend to be more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized, usually offer the best fit.
Boil and bite:
These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. However, boil and bite mouthguards often still do not fit as well as a custom made mouthguard, and may still feel bulky, or may not fit well if you have braces. They are based on an “average” head and mouth size, and not everyone is average!
Stock or Pre-Made:
These are inexpensive and can be worn immediately. They are usually made of foam material. Typically, stock mouthguards do not usually fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult, which can be especially difficult to deal with if the mouthguard is for organized sports.
A custom mouthguard is made at a dentist’s office. First, a 3D scan is taken of your teeth. The scan is then emailed to a lab which will create the mouthguard. In some cases, you may be able to choose the color of your mouthguard, or even select a clear mouthguard.
A week or two later, your mouthguard will be ready for a try-in. Your dentist will watch you try the mouthguard, and may adjust or trim it to make sure that it fits smoothly and securely in your mouth. Your mouthguard will typically come with a case to protect it when you are not using it.
WestLake Dental Care offers custom-fitted mouthguards as a part of our comprehensive oral health services. If you have braces or other orthodontic treatment and regularly participate in athletics or contact sports, we strongly recommend having a custom mouthguard made, as your teeth and mouth are more prone to injury when you have braces.