If you’ve ever found yourself dealing with a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth before, you’ll know just how frustrating it is. Okay, in terms of your health, chipped or broken teeth aren’t particularly serious, although they can lead to an increased risk of infection. From an aesthetic standpoint however, they really stand out.
People that take part in sports and physical activity on a regular basis will know the risks that come with it, especially if your sport of choice is particularly aggressive and physically demanding.
The last thing you want is to have your tooth chipped, or worse still, knocked out entirely, which is why mouthguards are so useful.
If you’re worried about damaging your teeth, be sure to speak to your dentist and enquire about the possibility of a mouthguard.
Mouthguards are simple devices, yet they’re extremely useful. Today, we’re going to look at how to fit a mouthguard, and how to choose the right one for you.
How to fit a mouthguard with boiling water
Mouthguards are simple oral devices that fit into the mouth and over the teeth. The main job of a mouthguard is to protect the teeth, gums, and mouth in general. Finding a mouthguard that fits perfectly however, is a little trickier which is why you need to use the boiling water method.
What you’ll need:
- Slotted spoon
- Begin by taking a saucepan and filling it with enough water to submerge your mouthguard. This depends on the size of your pan, but around 3 – 5 inches of water should be enough.
- Next, place the saucepan onto the heat and bring the water to a rolling boil.
- Now, take the saucepan off the heat and leave the water to stand for 30 seconds.
- Place your mouthguard into the water carefully, making sure it is fully submerged and keep it in there for one minute. Make sure you don’t leave it any longer as this could damage it and make it too soft. If your mouthguard is strapped, make sure to attach a tether to it before it goes into the water.
- Using a spoon or the tether, carefully remove the mouthguard from the water. Next, run it under cold water for a second or two to bring the temperature down slightly.
- Now, moisten your lips and carefully insert the mouthguard into your mouth. Wetting your lips first will help to protect them from being burnt if the mouthguard is still a little too warm.
- Using a mirror, carefully line up the mouthguard with the centreline of your upper teeth. Place the mouthguard over your upper teeth and firmly squeeze it to help mould it around the teeth. Begin with your molars first, and then your upper teeth.
- Now, bring your lower jaw up and into the base of the mouthguard and then bite down firmly once the teeth are aligned with the lower channel. Bite down and suck in firmly to hold it in place and help it set.
- Use your fingers if you need to in order to ensure that it adheres to the shape of your teeth.
- See how it feels, and if the mouthguard stays in place and adheres firmly to the teeth, without being uncomfortable, you’re all set. If it doesn’t feel right in your mouth, repeat the previous processes again until it’s just right for you.
How to fit a mouthguard for a child
Fitting a mouthguard for a child is a little trickier, in the sense that kids tend not to sit still, and they may be more sensitive to temperature fluctuations with the mouthguard, or indeed, with how firm the mouthguard is in their mouths.
When fitting a mouthguard for a child, you need to ensure that the mouthguard is cool enough when it goes into their mouths. If it isn’t, this could cause the child distress. Not only that, but you may need to hold and press the mouthguard against their teeth while it sets, making sure not to be too firm.
How do I know what size mouthguard I need?
One of the most common questions that people ask dentists is what size mouthguard they need.
To be perfectly sure you should visit your dentist who can take an impression of your teeth and send this off to the lab to make a mould for a mouthguard that will adhere perfectly to your teeth.
Failing that however, look for a mouthguard which ends roughly somewhere between the first and second molar and covers all of your teeth excluding your back molars, and a little of your gum.
How do you know if a mouthguard fits?
Believe it or not, but knowing whether a mouthguard fits or not is not as easy as you may have thought.
You see, a mouthguard should fit securely over your teeth and gums. It should stay in place without you constantly needing to readjust it with your hands, or bite down to hold it in place.
As well as being held firmly in place, it should also not feel painful, uncomfortable, too tight, or too loose. It should feel comfortable when in place so as to not affect your breathing or your athletic performance.
How long does it take to get used to a mouthguard?
We can’t give a definitive answer to this question because every person out there is different.
With that said however, you want the mouthguard to feel like a part of you when you wear it, and therefore most dentists state that it takes around 30 days for a mouthguard to come as second nature.
Why does my night guard feel so tight?
A night guard is obviously designed to be worn at night to protect the teeth. It therefore needs to be held in place when you sleep, otherwise it’s pointless. With that said, if it is too tight it will feel uncomfortable.
The more you wear a nightguard, the more comfortable it will be. Therefore, if you don’t wear it for a while, it will feel tighter and firmer.
Get your custom mouthguard today
Here at Dental Armour, we specialise in mouthguards, nightguards, dental splints, and much more besides. Whether you grind your teeth or simply want to protect them when you take part in sporting activities, we have you covered. Contact the friendly team at Dental Armour today.