Why Is It Important to Use a Mouthguard?
As an athlete or a parent of one, you have probably heard about mouthguards and their use in sporting activities. Many people know a thing or two about mouthguards in sports but hardly comprehend the benefits of having one. If you are careful about avoiding dental emergencies and prioritizing oral health, you will learn more about all types of mouthguards in Oshawa, ON, not just football or boxing mouthguards.
What Is a Mouthguard?
It is an oral appliance in dentistry that protects teeth and jaws from dental trauma. Mouthguards at Conlin Dentistry are basically protectors for your oral cavity, cushioning the impact of blows and external force that may significantly damage your mouth. Typically, mouthguards are created to cover the upper teeth only since they take most of the brunt of trauma as they stand out more. If the upper teeth are covered, a blow on your face will not have as much impact on your oral cavity as without a mouthguard.
Types of Mouthguards
Mouthguards are different depending on their creative process and how they work to protect your mouth. They are categorized into three main types:
- Stock mouthguards – they are the most inexpensive and readily available mouth protectors. Since they are pre-made, you can find them at local vendor stores. However, they may not offer optimal protection as they are often ill-fitting, making it difficult for you to breathe or speak.
- Boil and bite mouthguards – are also pre-made and available at many over-the-counter outlets. However, they feature a thermoplastic material that makes them fit better than stock mouthguards. The material expands and contracts accordingly with temperature changes. To wear the mouth protector, dip it in hot water, then place it in your mouth. Adjust it accordingly with your finger or tip of the tongue to fit well.
- Custom-made mouthguards – are the most unique and effective mouth protectors. They are created by dental experts in laboratories, following the impressions of your mouth. These mouth protectors are tailored to your individual needs. Therefore, you can get a mouthguard for sleeping, not just one for use when playing sports. They fit snugly and can treat certain dental issues like bruxism (excessive teeth grinding), TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), and obstructive sleep apnea. Better yet, custom-made mouthguards are the best for patients with braces or dental bridges.
Must You Use a Mouthguard?
Mouthguards are oral appliances for preventive dental care. They can only prevent dental injuries from occurring if you use them beforehand. Although it is not mandatory to wear mouthguards, it is necessary for the following reasons:
- Tooth Fractures – chipped, cracked, and broken teeth often occur due to external injuries. Although such fractures may not always lead to severe dental pain. When they do, you need expensive dental protocols as treatment. Besides, the reparative cosmetic procedure for correcting tooth fractures is costly.
- Tooth Displacement – occurs when the impact of the trauma forcefully shifts a tooth to a different position. Tooth displacement may cause adjacent teeth to also suffer and result in extensive dental pain.
- Knocking Out a Tooth – many patients lose their teeth to dental injuries. The good news is that you can replace your missing teeth with many restorative solutions at your disposal. However, if you can prevent tooth loss, should you not prioritize that?
- Enamel thinning – sometimes the reason for wearing a mouthguard is unrelated to a blow on your face. In some cases, oshawa dentist recommends mouthguards to patients at a high risk of damaged tooth enamels. It is especially the case for patients who grind their teeth at night. Mouthguards for sleeping are a great solution for overcoming teeth grinding and preventing enamels from wearing down.
- Soft Tissue Injuries – dental trauma does not just sabotage your teeth. Soft tissue can also suffer significant damage, including your tongue, lips, and gums.
- Jaw Fractures – although a mouthguard directly covers teeth, it cushions impact from hurting your jaw. Jaw fractures can have many more complex reparative measures than teeth fractures.
You do not need to be an athlete to get mouthguards. Ultimately, whether you enjoy wearing a mouthguard or don’t, it is a preventive measure that will immensely benefit your oral health.