What is a Mouthguard?
Mouthguards are protective devices used to protect your teeth, as well as your surrounding gums and soft tissues, from injury and damage. If you or your children are involved in sports, a mouthguard should be considered an essential piece of equipment for preventing tooth damage and other mouth injuries.
According to the American Dental Association, athletes who play sports with a mouthguard are 60 times less likely to damage their teeth than those who don’t use one. Both contact and non-contact sports can put you at risk for oral injuries. Mouthguards allow you to protect your smile without giving up your active lifestyle.
Mouthguards can also be worn at night to protect your teeth from the negative effects of teeth grinding (bruxism).
What Types of Mouthguards Are There?
In addition to customized mouthguards, there are also stock mouthguards, as well as boil and bite ones. Stock mouthguards are carried in retail stores. While they’re cheap, these devices are one-size-fits-all, which does not allow for full protection. In addition, some patients might find them uncomfortable.
Boil and bite mouthguards are made of special plastic. Once boiled, the plastic becomes moldable, and once you bite into it, the plastic forms from your bite. While some may find these to be better than stock mouthguards, the risk of user error could mean a wasted mold or worse, an ill-fitting appliance.
As a safer and more effective alternative, Dr. Shlafer recommends customized high-quality mouthguards that offer the best fit and the highest level of protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can nightguards ruin your teeth?
No -- As long as they’re provided by a qualified dentist, nightguards are safe for use. They provide protection against the effects of teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth while you sleep puts pressure on your jaw and teeth. This can lead to severe pain and, if left alone, can cause permanent damage to your teeth.
How do I take care of my mouthguard?
If your mouthguard is not cleaned regularly, it can lead to a buildup of germs and bacteria which can make you sick. To avoid this, clean your mouthguard regularly by rinsing it out with water when you remove it. Gently brushing your mouthguard daily can also keep it clean. Having good oral hygiene and keeping your teeth clean will help you get the most out of your mouthguard.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
For more information about our custom mouthguards, call us today at (248) 781-0040. We proudly serve patients from Canton, Plymouth, Southfield, Franklin, Beverly Hills, and throughout Michigan.
Don’t wait -- come and see how dentistry is done differently at Roman Shlafer, DDS.