What are Mouth Guards?
A mouth guard is a protective device for the mouth that covers the teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, arches, lips and gums. A mouth guard is most often used to prevent injury in contact sports, or as part of certain dental procedures, such as tooth bleaching.
Mouth guards for adults
Your smile is one of your most important assets and protecting it is very important to your looks and the overall functioning of your oral system. Dental mouth guards protect the teeth from injury and damage while playing sports or for those who suffer from bruxism (the habit of clenching and grinding your teeth). These are made using either laminate or soft plastic. They cover the teeth and also separate the upper and lower jaws, protecting teeth from sharp blows or damage caused by grinding. Although several types of ready to use mouth guards are available in the market, dentists advise patients to use custom made guards designed specifically to their needs and size. Store-bought mouth guards can be uncomfortable to wear, as they may not fit everyone well and are also bulky and wear down quickly. Such mouth guards can also interfere with breathing and speaking, thereby eliminating their use as the right choice for you.
Mouth guards for children
Mouth guards, also known as sports guards or athletic mouth protectors, are crucial pieces of equipment for any child participating in sports.
- Stock mouth guards: Pediatric dentists favor this type of mouth guard the least because it provides minimal protection, obstructs proper breathing and speaking, and tend to be uncomfortable.
- Boil and bite mouth guards: Boil and bite mouth guards are slightly more expensive, tend to offer more protection, feel more comfortable in the mouth, and allow for easy speech production and breathing.
- Customized mouth guards: These mouth guards are custom-made by the dentist and offer the greatest degree of protection. Customized mouth guards are more expensive and take longer to fit, but are more comfortable and fully approved by dentists.
Night guards are used to prevent tooth damage in children, and adults, who grind their teeth at night. For children, they are used during the growth phases of a child’s teeth and jaw. For adults, mouth guards are used to help primarily with the problem of grinding and clenching their teeth at night (bruxism).
Schedule an appointment with our office so we can discuss whether wearing a mouth guard is right for you or your child.