Mouthguards are dental accessories that help to protect your teeth and mouth. The two primary uses for them are protecting your teeth during sports and at night. For sports, they help to prevent oral injuries, especially during contact sports. At night, mouthguards are designed to prevent damage when people grind their teeth. They are made of flexible plastic so that they can fit comfortably in your mouth. When you buy one, it could be ready-made, or you could get one custom-made from your dentist. Keep reading to find out the importance and benefits of wearing a mouthguard.
Mouthguards for Sports
Mouthguards are often an essential piece of sports equipment. They’re vital for many sports, particularly any that could involve collisions or flying balls. Some sports have a high risk of oral injuries, making mouthguards a necessity. For example, football and hockey players should wear a mouthguard when they play or train. Other athletes should consider it too, especially when playing contact sports like basketball. Mouthguards help to protect the teeth, as well as the gums, lips, and cheeks. Injuries that can occur include tissue damage and broken or cracked teeth. Both children and adults should wear mouthguards when playing a sport.
Mouthguards at Night
Another use for mouthguards is to protect the teeth at night. They are mostly used for this purpose when people grind their teeth. Many people have a tendency to clench or grind their teeth at night. They often don’t realize that they are doing it until it is pointed out by their dentist. A mouthguard won’t necessarily stop the behavior. However, it will protect the teeth and bite by providing a barrier between the teeth. Grinding your teeth can result in the surface of the teeth wearing away or even a crack in a tooth.
Do You Need a Mouthguard?
The best way to determine if you need a mouthguard is to talk to your dentist. If you play sports, there is no question that you should wear a mouthguard for some of them. Players of collision sports like football, rugby, or boxing should always wear one. However, you might be uncertain about other sports. If you’re unsure, speak to your dentist about whether they recommend one. Your dentist can also tell you if you grind your teeth at night and should wear a bite plate or splint to prevent damage.
Getting the Right Mouthguard
It’s important that you wear a mouthguard that fits your mouth. An improper fit could mean that the guard isn’t protecting your mouth properly. You can buy several types of mouthguard that you could find useful. You can buy an off-the-shelf stock mouth protector, which are designed to be ready to wear. However, you can’t do much to adjust their fit. Another option is a boil and bite protector, which you heat up so that you can shape it in your mouth. To get the best fit, you should get a custom-fit mouthguard from your dentist. It will be made to fit your mouth alone and will be much more comfortable.
A mouthguard can benefit athletes and people who grind their teeth at night. Talk to your dentist about whether you need one.