Dental Appliances in Rocky Mountain House
Local General Dentist in Rocky Mountain House, AB
Mouthguards Prevent Damage To Your Teeth In Many Environments
Nightguards - Occlusal Splints
Occlusal splints, better known as nightguards, are extremely common. They come in many different designs and are designed to accommodate many different needs. Your dentist may prescribe and design you a mouthguard for reasons that pertain only to you and your needs.
The most common reason a patient may need a mouthguard is due to excessive teeth grinding, especially at night. Grinding your teeth can cause muscle and joint issues in your jaw, damage your teeth, and even cause TMJ issues if left untreated for a long period of time.
Athletic mouthguards are recommended for most sports, especially high contact ones. Athletic mouthguards are worn over your teeth to lessen impact if you fall, or suffer a blow to the face or head. Athletes that participate in organized sports such as hockey, lacrosse, basketball, football, biking, even skateboarding can benefit from wearing protective equipment over your teeth in the event of an accident.
While athletic mouthguards do prevent teeth breaking, chipping, and even falling out due to frequent contact, there are other sports-related injuries they can protect you from as well. Mouthguards will prevent you from biting or cutting your lips, which can result in bleeding and pain depending on the severity of the injury.
How Mouthguards Protect You
Mouthguards place a strong, protective layer over your teeth to protect them from the impact that can result in injury. Mouthguards will help cushion a blow to the face, and lower the risk of broken or chipped teeth and injury to the gums, cheeks, and lips.
Types of Mouthguards
Mouthguards aren’t always a one size fits all solution. These are all the different types of mouthguards that can be used.
If you’re looking for a mouthguard that’s relatively inexpensive, stock mouthguards are readily available at many drugstores and sports equipment shops. Stock mouthguards are bought as is, which means they come pre-made and ready to wear as soon as you remove the packaging.
This is a great cost-effective option, however, you are limited by how customized it is. Stock mouthguards can be loose, feel too bulky, and affect things such as speaking and breathing properly.
When you decide to go with a custom mouthguard, your dentist is able to make it for you in the office. This means your mouthguard will be designed to fit your needs, and will likely be the most comfortable option as it’s been made specifically for you.
Our dentists will take impressions of your teeth to create the model for the mouthguard. The mouthguard will then be constructed using the model for reference. The finished product will give you a significant level of protection and comfort! Many athletes prefer custom-made mouthguards as they’re often the most comfortable.
Boil and Bite
Boil and bite mouthguards are like a mix of custom and stock mouthguards. Boil and bite mouthguards come pre-formed like the stock one but need to be boiled in hot water, then moulded into shape by you.
Once you’ve boiled the mouthguard you bite into it to achieve your desired and customized fit. Because the mold is based off of your own teeth, chances are high that you’ll get a better fit than the stock option. Make sure you read the instructions all the way through before you begin and follow them closely to avoid ending up with a poorly fitted or loose mouthguard.
Choosing a Mouthguard
We know that there are many options, so, which one is right for you? These are some factors you should look at when you’re shopping around.
A comfortable mouthguard has a lot of value for someone playing an intense sport. You want to be able to focus and not be distracted by something that feels bulky or loose. An uncomfortable mouthguard often means a loose mouthguard, and the last thing you want is a mouthguard falling out and leaving you vulnerable to injury.
Easy to Clean
Mouthguards need to be cleaned thoroughly and often in order to get rid of any lingering bacteria and debris. The mouthguard you choose should be easy to clean, as oral hygiene is just as important as a comfortable fit. Make sure the one you choose isn’t difficult or complicated to keep clean around the clock.
Normal Breathing and Speaking
Especially for a very active person, being able to breathe normally is a must. A good and effective mouthguard shouldn’t have too big of an effect on your ability to breathe and speak properly. This could be especially detrimental in an athletic or team-based environment.
If you’re going to invest in a mouthguard, make sure you invest in one that will last. It’s worth it to make a one-time larger purchase vs a few small ones that leave you with a poorly fitted mouthguard that can be easily broken or damaged.
Minimizing Your Risk
A mouthguard doesn’t protect you from everything of course, but having one greatly improves your chances of protecting your smile. A mouthguard will protect your gums, lips, and cheeks, which are all soft tissues that can be easily injured. A mouthguard is also a great way to prevent broken and chipped teeth by minimizing blows to the face and head.
When used for sleeping, a mouthguard can prevent long-term damage to your teeth and other related issues such as TMJ.
Do You Need a Mouthguard?
If you’re an active person, chances are you could benefit from using a mouthguard. If you notice you’re developing teeth grinding habit you may also be a candidate for a mouthguard that can be worn at night.
Talk to our dentists about the best options for you if you believe you may be a candidate. They’ll be able to direct you to the best one for your needs.