Your smile is a valuable asset, and protecting it goes beyond regular brushing and flossing. While you may focus on your oral hygiene routine, you should also consider the physical protection of your teeth. For this, you may need to think about other methods. Mouthguards are an essential tool for safeguarding your oral health in various situations.
Not only can mouthguards shield your teeth from harm, but they can also be beneficial for other reasons. Your dentist can recommend mouthguards to fix several dental problems.
Mouthguards for Sports
Protection Against Injuries: Engaging in sports activities poses risks to your teeth and mouth due to potential impact or collisions. A well-fitted mouthguard acts as a cushion. They absorb the force and reduce the risk of dental injuries. For example, they can save you from broken teeth, lip lacerations, or jaw fractures.
Prevention of Soft Tissue Damage: Mouthguards also protect the soft tissues of your mouth, including the lips, cheeks, and tongue, by creating a barrier between them and the teeth. This helps prevent cuts, bruises, and other oral injuries.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring Reduction: Snoring occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat vibrate during sleep, causing disruptive sounds. Certain mouthguards help alleviate snoring by slightly positioning the jaw forward, opening the airway, and reducing tissue vibration.
Sleep Apnea Management: A customized oral appliance can be an effective treatment option for those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. These devices help keep the airway open during sleep. It promotes better breathing and lowers the frequency of apnea episodes.
Mouthguards for Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Protection from Tooth Wear: Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can lead to excessive tooth wear, enamel damage, and jaw pain. Wearing a mouthguard, also known as a nightguard, provides a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth. During the night, this will prevent them from grinding against each other. As a result, this will reduce your risk of dental complications.
Muscle Relaxation: Mouthguards for bruxism often help relax the jaw muscles and reduce tension. This will minimize discomfort and promote a night of more restful sleep.
Types of Mouthguards
Stock Mouthguards: These pre-formed, ready-to-wear mouthguards are available in various sizes. However, they offer limited customization and may not provide the best fit or protection.
Boil-and-Bite Mouthguards: You can purchase these at sporting goods stores and soften them by boiling them before being molded to fit your teeth. While they offer a better fit than stock mouthguards, they may still be less comfortable and less protective than custom-made ones.
Custom-Made Mouthguards: Your dentist will craft these mouthguards based on impressions of your teeth. They provide the best fit, comfort, and protection as they are tailored specifically to your mouth. Your best choice to protect your teeth will come from your dentist.