Our Markham dentist might suggest a mouth guard or appliance for a number of reasons. In most cases they are used to protect the teeth either during sports or from teeth grinding. There are several types of appliances, and mouth guards are one of them. There are three basic types of mouth guards used.
3 Types of Mouth Guards
Mouth guards cover the teeth and protect them. The three main types include:
- Stock Mouth Guards – These are preformed and they are ready to use. These are the most inexpensive and can be purchased at any sports store and the sports department in other department stores. These can’t be adjusted so they do not always fit just right and can make breathing difficult. Since they do not offer much protection, dentists do not usually recommend this type.
- Boil-and-bite Mouth Guards – These are widely available at stores which sell sports equipment. They are a little higher quality than stock versions. Boil-and-bite mouth guards are made out of a special thermoplastic material. It is put into hot water to make it soft and then put in the mouth and formed so that it is shaped around the teeth. This provides a custom fit for each individual and provides much more protection.
- Custom Fit Mouth Guards – This is the most expensive option in mouth guards because they are designed and created in the dental office or in a professional lab. The dentist will make an impression of the teeth and the mouth guard is molded to fit perfectly. This provides a perfect, custom fitted mouth guard which is more comfortable and provides added protection of the teeth.
Who needs mouth guards?
Mouth Guards can be used by anyone whether they are old or young. People who play any type of contact sport like boxing, football, ice hockey, hockey, or soccer should wear one. But sometimes they are advisable for those who play noncontact sports like gymnastics. It can also be good to wear them for other sports like skateboarding or mountain biking where accidents are likely and a mouth injury could occur. Also people who tend to grind their teeth at night need a mouth guard to prevent damage to their teeth.
What about people who wear braces?
Those who wear braces can benefit from wearing a properly fitted mouth guard or appliance. A dentist or orthodontist can suggest the best mouth guard to provide the best protection. In most cases they will make a customized mouth guard since a blow to the face could damage the braces or any other fixed appliance and a mouth piece can be crafted to provide the proper level of protection. Remember that any removable appliances like orthodontic retainers should not be worn during contact sports or recreational activities.
For those who grind their teeth while they sleep, dentist will develop a special dental appliance that protects the teeth from damage. This is called a nocturnal bite plate or a bite splint.