What are Mouthguards? What are they Used for?
What are Mouthguards?
Accidents are bound to happen when engaging in athletics. This is where mouthguards come into action. They are plastic or either laminate devices used to protect one from dental injuries, that could be of one’s jaw, teeth, cheeks, to quote a few. It is a device inserted in one’s mouth during a collision bound activity like boxing, football, gymnastics etc.
But that’s not all that mouthguards are used for, these are used for several other reasons such as grinding or clenching of teeth, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Snoring, releasing stress in the jaw which leads to severe headaches. On reading furthermore, you would encounter its different types, how it helps, its advantages and a lot more. Don’t forget to read this blog on Mouthguards till the end
The Different Types of Mouthguards
There are different types of mouthguards you would encounter if you’re going to buy one. Don’t be confused, we’ve got you covered!
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that comfort is in our hands here. Custom-Made Mouthguards are your gateway to a comfortable device to protect you and ease all your worries. Custom-Made Mouthguards are made to fit a particular person completely. The dentist uses a mould and asks the patient to bite down on that and then the impression is sent to a lab for the custom made mouthguard to be made. They are specially designed to suit you in the best way be it the thickness or any other customization.
Boil and Bite
These can be bought from any Sports outlet or even from a drug store. These are comparatively way better than stock ones. Boil and Bite Mouthguards are first placed into boiling water ad upon softening put it in your mouth and bite to fit your teeth. Do not forget to follow the instructions carefully to get the best result out of it.
Stock Mouthguards are the cheapest ones out of the lot. These come preformed but the disadvantage here is that these are highly uncomfortable and do not fit well.
Who needs Mouthguards?
In a way, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that mouthguards serve multiple purposes and are very useful. The conditions that Mouthguards come handy are:
Engaging in physical activities that make you prone to collision or heavy impact activities that could by chance affect your face would require a device such as a Mouthguard to safeguard your mouth. Activities such as:
To name a few.
Sleep Apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea requires a device to broaden the airway to ease breathing or prevent sudden termination of breathing activity while asleep.
Grinding of teeth
Grinding or clenching of teeth is a sleep-related disorder. This comes as a part and parcel of a condition called bruxism. All of the clenching and grinding of teeth causes teeth edges to chip and wear off and results in tooth, jaw pain also gum sores.
Mouthguards also help in reducing snoring. Snoring occurs due to vibrations of soft tissue in the upper airway. They work by pulling the lower jaw forward to keep your airway open. This is also how it works for Sleep Apnea.
Advantages of using a Mouthguard
There are plenty of advantages of Mouthguards and a few of them are as follows-
- Prevent Teeth from getting damaged
- Get Rid of Headache
- Prevent Tooth and Jaw Pain
- Availability of Customized Guards
- Prevent Tooth and Jaw Pain
- Helps in getting a peaceful sleep
Can I wear a Mouthguard if I wear braces?
Yes! Your braces are stopping you from nothing, not even sports.
If you have any condition such as OSA [Obstructive Sleep Apnea], Snoring or Bruxism and you have braces, well the good news is that there is nothing to worry about. You can get a mouthguard just like anyone else.
It is important for someone with braces to wear a Mouthguard while engaging in any physical activity like sports as a hit to the face could very well damage the brackets and your teeth. Talk to your Orthodontist and get yourself a customised Mouthguard to suit your needs.
How can you take care of your Mouthguard?
It is very important to take due care of your Mouthguard, be it related to hygiene and cleanliness or the size and fitting. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you have a mouthguard.
- Clean the mouthguard with a cool rinse and use a mild soap too. Use a toothbrush to do so.
- Always use a firm or perforated container to store your Mouthguard so that it can dry off easily and prevent the buildup of bacteria.
- Keep in mind to not expose the mouthguard to high temperatures such as a hot beverage etc as it is made of acrylic.
- Do check the mouthguard occasionally, for wear and tear. If you find holes or tears in it or if it becomes loose or causes discomfort, replace it.
- Bring the mouthguard for evaluation while your visit to the dentist.
Mouthguards are a necessary device for the ones in athletics or are suffering from certain sleep-related conditions. The best mouthguards are the ones that are customised, although slightly more expensive they offer a lot more comfort and definitely last longer.
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