what does a mouthguard do for your teeth

What Does A Mouthguard Do For Your Teeth?

A mouthguard is worn over your teeth and gums to safeguard your mouth from injuries. The importance of a mouthguard cannot be overstated, particularly for athletes who participate in high-contact sports such as football, hockey, and boxing. A mouthguard can prevent a range of injuries, such as broken teeth, lip and tongue lacerations, and even concussions, by cushioning impacts to the mouth and reducing the amount of force transferred to the head. But mouthguards are not just for athletes. They can also be useful for people who grind their teeth at night or suffer from sleep apnea. Wearing a mouthguard during sleep can help prevent teeth grinding, leading to tooth decay, jaw pain, and headaches.

When choosing a mouthguard service near you, there are three main types: stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards, and custom-made mouthguards. Stock mouthguards come pre-formed and ready to wear but may not fit well, feel bulky, and make it difficult to speak or breathe. 

Boil-and-bite mouthguards are also available at sporting goods stores and can be customized to fit your mouth. These mouthguards are made from a thermoplastic material softened in boiling water and then molded to your teeth by biting down. 

Custom-made mouthguards are the most expensive option and the most comfortable and effective. These mouthguards are designed by your dentist, who takes an impression of your teeth and creates a mouthguard specifically for your mouth. This ensures a comfortable and secure fit, providing the best protection against dental injuries. Talk to your pediatric dentist at 65816 or orthodontist to determine which type of mouthguard is best for you.

Is A Mouthguard Better, Top Or Bottom?

Mouthguards designed to protect the upper teeth are more common and often recommended by dentists. 

These mouthguards are made to fit over the upper teeth and provide a cushion between the upper and lower teeth to prevent damage to the teeth and jaw during sports and other high-impact activities. However, some people prefer to wear a mouthguard on their lower teeth instead. This can be a good option for those with braces or other dental appliances on their upper teeth, as fitting a mouthguard over these appliances can be difficult. It’s important to note that both mouthguards can provide adequate protection when worn correctly and regularly cleaned. 

Is It OK To Wear A Mouthguard All Day?

Mouth guards are an effective way to prevent dental injuries during sports or other physical activities. However, it is not recommended to wear a mouthguard all day. Extended use of a mouth guard can cause discomfort and difficulty speaking, leading to potential problems with your teeth and jaw. It’s important to wear a mouth guard only when necessary and to ensure it is properly fitted to your teeth and jaws.

What Are The Side Effects Of Wearing A Mouth Guard?

While they provide excellent protection for teeth, there are some potential side effects of wearing a mouth guard. One of the most common side effects is excessive drooling, particularly when wearing the mouth guard for the first time. This is because the mouth is not used to having a foreign object, and the excess saliva is the body’s natural response. 

Additionally, wearing a mouth guard can sometimes cause a sore throat, jaw pain, or a feeling of tightness in the jaw muscles. These symptoms can occur due to the constant pressure on the teeth and jaw. 

How To Care For Your Mouthguard

Caring for your mouthguard is essential to ensure its longevity and hygiene.

  1. Rinse it after use 
  2. Brush it gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  3. Keep it dry. Always store your mouthguard in a dry. Avoid storing it in a closed container or a damp area, as this can lead to bacterial growth and bad odors. 
  4. Avoid extreme temperatures. Keep your mouthguard away from extreme temperatures, such as hot water, as this can cause it to warp or lose shape. 
  5. Replace it regularly. Replace your mouthguard every six to twelve months or as your dentist near you recommends. Over time, mouthguards can wear down, become loose or develop a bad odor. 

Conclusion

Whether you’re an athlete or struggle with teeth grinding, a mouthguard can be a great investment in your oral health. Knowing what types of mouthguards are available and the benefits and drawbacks of each can help you make a more informed decision. Visit Lincoln Children’s Dentistry to determine which mouthguard is best for you. 

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