As you are probably already aware, mouthguards or mouth protectors help in preventing an oral injury. Dentists recommend the same to patients suffering from sleep apnea, TMJ disorder, damaged teeth, or bruxism. Kids and adults also wear them while participating in recreational and athletic activities.
Pre-formed (ready-to-wear) stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite, and custom-made devices are the three options.
Your dental care expert will create digital impressions of your mouth and get the mouthguard manufactured from a lab. On the other hand, ready-to-use, pre-formed ones are available at Walmart, Walgreens, and other pharmacies.
At TruCare Dentistry, we recommend patients choose customized options due to the following advantages:
- Go for a proper fit
Commonly sold pre-formed or ready-to-use mouth protectors use a one size fits all approach. However, every person’s mouth, jaw, and teeth vary in shape. Thus ready-to-use devices prove to be the poorest fit.
The user needs to keep his mouth closed to hold these mouthguards in place. It makes talking and breathing difficult. Even boil and bite mouthguards do not fit perfectly.
On the other hand, custom-fitted devices fit correctly. Dentists consider your dental history, oral health, your braces, and other appliances you wear. Thus, personalization ensures your custom-designed mouthguard fits perfectly.
- Appropriate thickness
Stock mouthguards irritate gums in some individuals as they do not fit perfectly. At times, they are uncomfortable and hard. These factors increase the risk of gum infection.
‘Boil and bite’ alternatives are slightly better. However, they are heavier and thicker than custom-made mouthguards supplied by dentists.
Custom-fit mouthguards cost more, but your dentist ensures they are gentler and comfortable on your gums.
The ideal thickness should be 4 mm to ensure appropriate protection in case of an impact.
3. Dangers of wearing unfit mouthguards
Mouthguard plays a crucial role in offering a layer of protection to the tooth enamel.
These mouth protectors can turn into a den for bacteria if left unclean. Ensure you clean them as per instructions.
That’s not it; you might end up damaging your gums if you wear ill-fitting, damaged, or dirty devices. Individuals wearing one-size-fits-most, or stock mouthguards, are prone to gum disease. So, choose a mouthguard as directed by the dental office.
4. Increased retention and use
What’s the point in buying this dental appliance if you don’t feel like wearing it?
Patients are more likely to wear the mouthguards if it’s a superb fit.
Tongue and cheeks should be able to move without much interference. It’s possible if the dental care expert trims the mouthguard flanges. You will undoubtedly wear the appliance for longer if it fits well.
Your dentist will cut and trim the custom device to ensure maximum protection.
5. Mouthguards reduce dental emergencies
Rough estimates suggest mouthguards can avoid 200,000 medical emergencies related to oral injuries.
Persons participating in sports remain 60 times more prone to suffer dental injuries if they do not use a mouthguard.
A mouth protector can absorb the shock and evenly distribute the impact. Thus, these devices are a must for individuals who participate in contact sports.
6. Let kids wear a mouthguard while participating in contact sports
Kids often face severe mouth lacerations even if a ball hits braces during the school baseball game.
Severe joint or jaw trauma resulting from sports injuries can require surgery and prolonged hospitalization. The jaw remains shut for 30 days during the injury healing period.
Such patients may need implants, bridges, new crowns, and other dental work. Plus, administering anesthesia and taking pain-killing medications can take a toll on health.
Repairing implant-supported dentures, retainers, and braces can cost a fortune. But, how can you stop your enthusiastic kids from participating in contact sports? Instead, just ensure they use a mouthguard.
7. Prevention is the key
Do you think mouth protectors are costly? You should consider looking at it from the other way.
You can save a fortune as you won’t have to go for costly dental reconstructive procedures.
The trauma caused due to stitches, knocked-out teeth, and jaw injury post-accident can prove much more expensive.
If you have dental implants and porcelain veneers, you should surely opt for custom-fitted mouthguards and protect your investment.
Other benefits offered by mouthguards:
- Protects from bruising and prevents cuts
- Cushions teeth at all times
- Ensures there’s no contact between opposing teeth
- The lower jaw remains cushioned. Thus there are no chances of a fracture in case of an impact
- It prevents jaws from jarring together. Therefore, chances of brain injury remain less
- Protects users against neck injuries
Qualities to look out for in a mouth protector:
An ideal mouth protector should be easy to clean and durable. The device should not have any smell or taste.
You should be able to swallow, breathe, and talk easily after wearing the same. The device should stay in place and offer comfort.
Are you feeling unsure while choosing a mouthguard for you or your loved ones in the family? If you are in Roswell (GA), you should consider fixing an appointment and visiting TruCare Dentistry. Let our experienced dentists help you with the best custom-designed mouth protectors.