Who needs mouthguards, and why are they so important?
Who needs mouthguards, and why are they so important?
Sports are integral to children’s and many adults’ lives, keeping them healthy. However, it can sometimes lead to injuries, resulting in a hefty dental bill. It is where mouthguards come in—they help protect your mouth and teeth from sports-related injuries and even treat conditions like teeth grinding and sleep apnea.
What are mouthguards?
These are made from thick plastic; mouthguards are worn on the teeth, acting as a cushion to the face and protecting against injuries to the tongue and lips. They create a protective layer that prevents your teeth from the impact of a ball, elbow, or stick to the face. By redistributing forces from blows, they significantly reduce the potential impact.
Damaging the teeth is the most common type of sports injury and can be expensive. Mouthguards prevent thousands of injuries every year.
Why are Mouthguards Important?
Just as helmets effectively protect our heads, mouthguards prevent injuries to the face and mouth. They save us from close contact with the face and mouth, offering protection for our teeth, gums, mouth, cheeks, and jaws.
Athletes of all ages and different skill levels are always at risk of dental injuries. Although it may seem scary, wearing a mouthguard is a great way to protect your mouth.
Most mouthguards fit over the upper teeth, but in some cases, your dentist might also recommend wearing a mouthguard on the lower teeth.
Your dentist might recommend mouthguards for different reasons:
- Grind or clench your teeth.
- Engage in contact sports like football, basketball, hockey, soccer, or boxing.
- Take part in activities with a high risk of falling, such as gymnastics, biking, or ice skating.
- Experience obstructive sleep apnea.
- When you have TMJ disorder.
What are the different types of mouthguards?
There are three types of mouthguards, categorized according to their purpose.
Mouth guards for sports: These are essential protective devices designed to shield your teeth from injuries associated with various sports activities. They can help reduce the risk of chipped and knocked teeth, especially in sports like soccer, wrestling, basketball, and hockey.
Mouth guards for grinding teeth: These devices protect your teeth from clenching and grinding, helping reduce the effects of TMJ disorders. You can wear these mouthguards any time, night or day, but most people wear them at night since grinding and clenching often happen during sleep.
Mouthguards for snoring: People with obstructive sleep apnea or chronic snoring may benefit from custom-designed mouthguards. These appliances help reposition your jaw to open the airway during sleep.
You can buy mouthguards from a store or get them custom-made.
Store Made: Store-bought mouthguards are a cheaper option and are not as effective as custom-made ones. They are effective against teeth grinding or sports injuries but are not an effective treatment for sleep apnea. They are a cost-effective solution, although less comfortable than custom-made mouthguards.
Custom-Made: Generally made by dentists, custom-made mouthguards are an exact fit for dental anatomy. Designed according to the fit of your teeth, they provide more comfort than store-bought ones. These guards offer effective protection against sports injuries and sleep apnea treatment. Though custom guards are costly, they last longer than store-bought ones.
Can you wear mouthguards while you have braces?
Yes, you can wear mouthguards while you have braces. It is recommended to prevent damage to braces and wires.
How to take care of your mouthguards?
Taking care of your mouthguard ensures its longevity and maintains proper hygiene. Here are some tips that will help you take care of your mouthguards:
- Rinse them with cold water and clean them with toothpaste and a toothbrush before each use to remove bacteria and debris.
- Avoid chewing while wearing your mouthguard.
- Keep them away from hot water, direct sunlight, and heat.
- Store them in protective gear when not in use.
- Avoid using hot water and hot surfaces, which could result in warping.
- Regularly check them for any damage.
If your mouthguard is damaged or not in good shape to wear, you should get a new one. If you are using it regularly, keep it in good condition, as it provides great protection and peace of mind at a low cost. While you can’t avoid sports injuries entirely, mouthguards give you a fighting chance.
How can a dentist help you?
The process of getting a mouthguard is straightforward. Visit the dental hospital to get your dental impressions done. You can also select a design of mouthguard based on your preferences, and a few days later, you will get your mouthguards.
If you have any mouthguard questions, contact Versailles Dental Clinic in Dubai to schedule an appointment. They offer patients a wide range of high-quality dental treatments and orthodontic services worldwide.
Q: Who should wear mouthguards?
A: Mouthguards are recommended for individuals participating in sports or activities that create a risk of dental injuries. It includes sports like football and boxing, gymnastics or skateboarding.
Q: Can I wear a mouthguard with braces or dental implants?
A: Yes, individuals with braces or dental implants can wear mouthguards. It is advisable to consult with your orthodontist or dentist to ensure the mouthguard fits properly and accommodates any dental appliances.
Q: How long do mouthguards last?
A: The lifespan of a mouthguard can vary based on factors like frequency of use and how you maintain them. A well-maintained mouthguard can last between one to three years on average. It is essential to regularly inspect your mouthguard for any signs of wear and tear and you can replace them if required.
Q: Are there side effects of wearing a mouthguard?
A: Mouthguards generally do not cause significant side effects. However, some individuals may experience minor discomfort or difficulty speaking initially. If you experience persistent discomfort with mou you should consult your dentist or healthcare professional.
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Disclaimer : The content of this article is not a substitute for professional dental advice.