Your teeth aren’t just there to look pretty when you smile for the camera as you have your photo taken. Your teeth are actually a part of your digestive system as they begin the digestive process as soon as you chew your food. Looking after your teeth, therefore, is not just important for looking good, it’s also important for healthy digestion.
As strong as the teeth can be, they are still vulnerable to disease such as decay, injury, trauma and other oral problems, which is why finding the right mouth guard type is so important. A dental mouth guard or braces is designed to sit snugly over the teeth and protect them from dental injury, teeth grinding, and from damaging soft tissue and gum in your mouth.
A mouth guard for sports can prevent a blow to the face from knocking a tooth out or damaging the teeth for athletes, whereas different types of mouth guards for teeth grinding can help deal with conditions such as bruxism and TMJ disease(TMD). The important thing is finding the correct dental mouth guard.
To help you find the right product, here’s a look at the information for different types of mouthguards.
Contrary to popular belief, not all mouthguards are created equal. Different kinds of mouthguards serve different purposes and consequently they’re made in different ways.
Some mouthguards, for example, are designed to help protect people’s teeth and mouths when they play sports. Others are designed to straighten the teeth, whereas others are designed to prevent teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and bruxism. For sports, a boil and bite mouthguard or stock mouth protectors are fairly common.
Stock mouth guards are cost-effective, readily available, and very common. These can be purchased off-the-shelf in most sports stores and pharmacies. The idea is that after you bought them from the store, give them a quick clean, and then put them in. Typically they come in small, medium, and large sizes and only fit over your top teeth usually.
These are only really recommended as a last resort when no other options are available as they are not custom made for your teeth and mouth. This means that the fit usually isn’t great, and they will probably feel uncomfortable too.
A boil and bite mouth guard offers slightly more comfort. These are still stock mouth guards, but the idea is that you submerge the mouthguard in hot water to soften it, place it in your mouth over your teeth, bite down, and leave it to harden.
Both stock mouthguards and a boil and bite mouth guard are affordable and easy to source, but they aren’t comfortable and won’t offer the best fit. They are, however, ideal as a last resort.
By far, the best mouthguard type that you can choose is a custom mouthguard.
Custom mouthguards are made exclusively for you by your dentist, on-site, using state-of-the-art equipment and top quality materials.
Made by taking impressions of your teeth, the moulds are then sent to the lab where dental technicians will make a mouthguard guaranteed to fit your teeth perfectly. These mouthguards are comfortable, they stay in place, and they offer maximum levels of protection for the teeth, gums, tongue, and mouth.
Nightguards, often referred to as dental guards or occlusal splints, are guards worn over the teeth while you rest to protect them from wear and tear from bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching. Many dental issues, including tooth wear, sensitivity, and jaw pain, can be brought on by bruxism.
A variety of materials, including hard acrylic, soft silicone, and a mix of both, are used to create nightguards. By obtaining an impression of the patient's teeth and moulding them, custom night guards are manufactured. The nightguard is then made using the mould at a dental laboratory.
Moreover, over-the-counter night guards are available for purchase online or at pharmacies. Typically, boil-and-bite night guards are applied to the teeth by first softening the device in hot water. These nightguards could be less expensive than alternatives that are manufactured to order, but they do not provide the same level of comfort or security.
It's crucial to understand that nightguards do not treat bruxism; rather, they shield the teeth and jaw from harm brought on by clench and grind. It's crucial to consult a dentist if you clench or grind your teeth since they can identify the underlying problem and suggest the best course of action.
Dental splints are usually types of dental mouth guards for grinding on teeth and are used to treat sleep apnoea, snoring, and bruxism.
Dental splints are not made to protect the teeth from trauma, they instead help to offer a protective layer and barrier to stop the upper and lower teeth from grinding against each other. They also help to address sleep apnoea by repositioning and realigning the lower jaw to keep the airways open and improve breathing.
Before you purchase dental splints you should speak to your dentist and possibly even a sleep specialist to discuss your options and find out which mouthguard would be best for you.
As you can see, there are a number of different mouthguard types to choose from, with each one made to serve a slightly different purpose.
Sports mouthguards are made to protect the teeth from damage during sports or physical exertion, whereas dental splints act as a mouth protector that help prevent bruxism, clenching, grinding of teeth, sleep apnoea and other oral health problems.
While a boil and bite mouth guard or stock mouthguards are useful if you have no other options to wear, it is always best to visit a good reviewed dentist and have them create a custom-made mouthguard exclusively for you. A custom-fitted mouthguard offers the best fit, it provides maximum retention, it offers more protection and insurance to your oral health, and it is built to last as well.
Don't wait until it's too late! Book your mouthguard appointment today and protect your teeth during sports and physical activity.