Mouth guards and sports guards are devices that are inserted inside your mouth to protect your teeth from excessive grinding and clenching, like the kind you see in patient's with bruxism. Mouth guards are also used by athletes to prevent any injuries from occurring during contact sports. These devices are also recommended for people who have snoring and sleep apnea issues. There are different types of mouth guards available for specific situations.
Different Types of Mouth Guards
There are three major types of mouth guards: a stock mouth guard, boil-and-bite mouth guard, and custom-made mouth guards.
Stock Mouth Guard
This is the most widely used and affordable type of mouth guard, which you can find at drug stores and sports equipment stores. They come in varying sizes that can fit any mouth size perfectly. This type of mouth guard covers the upper layer of your teeth and is mostly used by athletes during contact sports. Though this mouth guard is very common, it can become very uncomfortable to talk while wearing one.
Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guard
This is similar to stock mouth guards and is readily available at drug stores. They come in one size, which can be customized to fit your teeth. The mouthpiece is boiled in hot water until it softens, and then you place it on your teeth and bite down to make the indentations. Follow the instructions on the packaging, and you will have a mouth guard that sits perfectly on your teeth.
Custom-Made Mouth Guards
You can get a mouth guard custom-made by our dentist by taking an impression of your teeth. The mouth guard is molded in a way to fit the structure of your teeth and mouth. This provides the best fit compared to the other two options. If you have a problem with teeth grinding or have sleep apnea, a custom-made mouth guard is the best option for you.
When to Use Mouth Guards
Quite a few sports and different activities that have a risk of you falling or injuring your face and mouth may require a mouth guard. Athletes who play football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, and similar sports are required to wear a mouth guard to prevent them from injuring their lips or teeth. People who grind their teeth or have trouble breathing while they sleep are also advised to wear a mouth guard.
A good option for athletes is either a stock mouth guard or a boil-and-bite one, as it gives full protection when playing contact sports. These mouth guards are inexpensive, and they stay in place.
If you suffer from teeth grinding, you can opt for a custom-made mouth guard that will keep your upper and lower teeth separated and prevent any damage caused by the pressure of grinding your teeth.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that blocks your airway when you sleep, resulting in your brain not getting enough oxygen. People who suffer from mild cases of sleep apnea are advised to wear a mouth guard that pushes the lower jaw and tongue forward, leaving enough room for air to pass through.
To learn more about mouth guards and which type will be best suited for you and your particular needs, call now at (210) 408-7999 and schedule your dental checkup with Joshua Austin, DDS.