Mouthguards: An Overview
If you or your child play sports, you know how easily accidents can happen. A custom-fit mouthguard should be a part of your protective gear at all times to ensure you do not suffer from tooth loss. While only a few sports, such as football and hockey, actually require mouthguards, the American Dental Association recommends wearing them during most sports and exercises.
While sports and exercise are very important for a healthy lifestyle, they are responsible for many injuries to the mouth including chipped or cracked teeth, knocked out teeth, tooth root damage, and more. Simply wearing a mouthguard could save you thousands of dollars in dental care.
As your trusted dentist in Laurel, MD, it is our priority to ensure that your teeth remain healthy and protected both on and off the field. Additionally, our mouthguards can be utilized to treat sleep apnea or teeth grinding.
Custom Mouthguards in Laurel, MD
Our custom-fit mouthguards are created customized to fit your smile. Patients love our customized mouthguards because they can also be made in a variety of different colors to match uniforms and encourage consistent use. There are many benefits to choosing this type of specialized mouth guard including:
- Better protection of the teeth
- More comfortable
- Personalized fit
Custom mouthguards carry many benefits compared to over-the-counter options. Store-bought mouthguards are designed to be one size fits all, but they don’t truly fit anyone properly. Typically, you have to clench your teeth to make sure the mouthguard stays in your mouth. You aren’t able to communicate with your teammates and you’re not able to get a quick water break in between plays without taking your mouthguard out.
When you’re constantly clenching your jaw, the joint starts to degrade. It causes pain that can spread throughout your jaw, face, and neck. You may notice that you have trouble opening and closing your mouth or that your jaw pops and clicks when you do. These store-bought mouthguards can lead to these symptoms and to a disorder called TMJ.
A custom mouthguard fits snug to your teeth. It’s comfortable but tight enough that you don’t have to do anything to make sure it stays in place. You can speak and talk with it in, as well as drink water. Since you don’t need to clench your teeth for it to stay in, you don’t have to worry about the consequences that come with clenching your jaw.
Sports Mouthguard Vs. Nightguard
Sports mouthguards and nightguards can’t be used for the same function. They’re made to perform the function they’re designed for. Sports mouthguards are made of a bulkier, lighter material that’s built to absorb impact. Nightguards are made of a thinner plastic material that repositions your jaw and prevents your teeth from grinding together. They aren’t built to withstand impacts. Using them for purposes they aren’t designed for can damage both your teeth and the mouthguard.
Custom Mouthguard FAQs
Can I use a mouthguard if I have braces?
Our mouthguards can be customized to fit around any additional oral appliances that you have, including braces. If your teeth are ongoing orthodontic treatment, it is even more important to keep them protected so that your treatment is not interrupted by unexpected facial trauma.
How will a mouthguard help with my sleep apnea or teeth grinding?
A mouthguard, or a night guard, fits securely over your teeth and holds your jaw in a healthy position that prevents the soft tissues of your throat from collapsing on each other and blocking your airway, which causes you to snore. Additionally, the night guard protects your teeth so even if you attempt to grind your teeth together unconsciously, no damage will be done.
How do I get a custom mouthguard?
Simply schedule an appointment to get your custom-fit mouthguard as a part of your general dentistry treatment. The entire process is fairly simple. At your appointment, one of our dentists will take impressions of your teeth. With the impressions, a mold of your teeth will be made and used to fabricate the mouthguard.