It is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities for you to know how to prevent injuries to your mouth and face. A mouthguard is an important device that helps to do this.
Mouthguards are dental devices designed to help cushion blows to the face, to minimize the risk of broken teeth and other injuries to the lips, tongue, face, or jaw. They are also called mouth protectors, and typically cover the upper teeth, and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips, and cheek lining.
Should I Get A Mouthguard?
You might be wondering and asking yourself if you really need a mouthguard and should instead save the dollars for something else. However, both children and adults might need a mouthguard especially if they:
- Grinds teeth (bruxism).
- Play contact sport like basketball, football, lacrosse, hockey, or soccer that increases the risk of a hit to the face.
- Take part in noncontact sports or activities with a high fall risk, like ice skating, gymnastics, or biking.
This decision most times is taken by your dentist who may recommend this on your routine visits to his office. If you haven’t had a regular dental checkup in recent times, you should make that appointment now. If your next question is ‘’where can I get the best dentist near me?’’, well, Dr Scott got you covered. He has an expertly run dental clinic in Lincoln.
Benefits Of Mouthguards.
Wearing a mouthguard during athletic activities can help avoid:
- Chipped or lost teeth.
- Nerve damage to a tooth.
- Soft-tissue damage to lips, gums, tongue, and inside cheeks.
It is better to prevent such injuries as repairing or replacing missing teeth can be costly and painful.
But should in case that this happens, find your way to an emergency dentist in Lincoln NE so you get quality and prompt emergency dental service.
Are All Mouthguards The Same?
No. Mouthguards are of different types, sizes, and uses. There are two main categories of mouthguards viz those made to protect the teeth from sports trauma or other athletic activities and mouthguards that are made for patients with bruxism or teeth grinding.
Custom-fitted mouthguards: In this type, the dentist uses an impression or mold of your teeth to custom-make a mouthguard that comfortably fits your teeth and mouth. A custom mouthguard will be made specifically for your needs, whether it be for protection from trauma during athletic competition or use at night if you grind your teeth. Custom-fitted mouth protectors cost more, but they provide the best fit and protection.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards: These mouth protectors are made up of a thermoplastic material that can be shaped at home to fit your teeth. You do this by softening the mouthguard by placing it in hot but not boiling water and then put the softened mouthguard into your mouth, using your fingers to press it onto the molars and front teeth. When the mouthguard feels like it’s in the right position, you then bite down for about 20-30 seconds. Thereafter, you remove the device and run it under cool water. If the mouthguard doesn’t fit at the first instance, you can repeat these steps above to get the best fit.
Stock mouthguards: These are one-size-fits-all mouthguards that come preformed and ready to wear. However, because they aren’t made specifically for your teeth, they rarely fit well and their bulkiness and poor fit can make breathing difficult. Stock mouthguards offer the least protection of all mouthguard types.
Caring For Your Mouthguard.
It’s important to protect your mouthguard from damage and keep it clean since it spends a lot of time in your mouth. You can do this by:
- Brushing and flossing your teeth before putting in your mouthguard.
- Rinsing your mouthguard with cool water or mouthwash before putting it in and after taking it out.
- Avoid using hot water, which can warp its shape.
- Bring your mouthguard to any dentist appointments you have Store your mouthguard in a hard container with some ventilation to protect it and allow it to dry out between uses.
- Keep in mind that mouthguards don’t last forever. Replace your mouthguard as soon as you start to notice any holes or signs of wear, or every two to three years.