General Dentistry, Uncategorized

Can Mouthguards Protect Your Teeth?

Yes, mouthguards can protect your teeth from damage and soft tissue injuries. However, their effectiveness depends on the type you choose and the purpose for getting them.

That is why it is advisable to consult a dentist near you before getting mouthguards.

What Are Mouthguards?

A mouthguard is a protective device often made of soft plastic (gentle on the gums) and is worn over the teeth and gums to protect against damage and soft tissue injuries.

Are the Mouthguards Effective?

Two factors come into focus when you are choosing mouthguards in Bayside, NY; the type and the purpose.

  1. Why do you need mouthguards

Our dentist may recommend mouthguards to address any of the following issues:

Did you know that about five million teeth are lost because of sports injuries? Yes, most athletes who play contact sports like baseball are at risk of losing their teeth and getting soft tissue injury.
According to American Dental Association, players who engage in active play without wearing mouthguards are twice more likely to get injuries.

Wearing a mouthguard has been reported to prevent injury to the mouth, teeth, and soft tissues.

Bruxism or the unconscious grinding and clenching of the teeth occurs when you are stressed or nervous. Most of the teeth grinding happens at night during sleep, but some people can experience it during the day especially when they are stressed.

Grinding and clenching exert pressure on the teeth, which causes them to wear out. The dentist can recommend a mouthguard to protect the teeth from wearing down.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes breathing to suddenly stop and start again when you are asleep. Because of the low supply of oxygen, the brain will force you to wake up to open up the airways, hence the snoring.

Sleep apnea can affect your quality of life as it causes fatigue, fogginess, and loss of memory. Several devices can be used to address the snoring and open up the airways. A mouthguard is one of the appliances that can push the lower jaw and tongue forward to open the airways.

Take note, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. You may find mouthguards useful if you struggle with mild snoring as they open the airways.

2. What are the available types?

Several types of mouthguards are available that you can choose from:

Stock mouthguards are affordable and readily available as you can access them from your local pharmacy. The mouthguards come in three pre-determined sizes; small, medium, and large. Although they are available in different sizes, these mouthguards rarely fit and can be uncomfortable.

  • Boil-and-bite mouthguards

These mouthguards come in one-size-fits-all sizes, but you can often customize them to fit your teeth. To wear the mouth protectors, boil and then bite them to set.

Custom-made mouthguards are the most recommended because they are designed to fit your teeth and gums. They are most ideal for people who have bruxism and sleep apnea. These mouthguards are a bit more expensive than the other versions, but they are covered by most dental insurance.

Can The Mouthguards Affect the Gums?

No, if they are worn properly and kept clean. However, if you wear ill-fitting and dirty mouthguards, it can increase the risk of decay and gum disease. That’s why it is crucial to ensure that the devices are clean before putting them on.

How Can You Care for the Mouth Protectors?

Keeping your mouthguard clean is vital to preserving them, here are a few tips:

  • Brush and floss your teeth daily to remove any plaques and food particles.
  • Rinse the device and gums with cool water after eating and before wearing them. Avoid using hot water because it can alter the shape of the mouthguards.
  • Check the mouthguards for any signs of damage and wearing out.
  • Visit the dentist regularly for an examination and carry your mouthguards for assessment of the fit.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Dental Expressions by Dr. Gary Bram for more information on mouthguards and which type is the most suitable.

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