What Is A Mouth Guard?
A mouth guard is also known as a sports guard and mouth protector. It is a plastic appliance that is worn over teeth to cover and protect them from injury. A nightguard and a mouthguard should not be confused because they serve two different functions. A night guard is worn during sleep to prevent teeth from grinding against each other. As a result, night guards do not cover the entire tooth just the biting surface. A mouth or sports guard covers the whole tooth and a portion of the gum tissue properly fitted. It is usually worn on the top teeth, but the bottom teeth may need one in some cases. In any sport that has contact with other players or objects, a sports guard should be worn. Examples of games where a sports guard is needed are hockey, basketball, volleyball, baseball, etc.
Generic or Custom-fitted Mouth Guard?
When it comes to choosing a mouth guard, a custom-fitted option is always the best choice. A generic or over-the-counter sports guard offers a universal fit that does not adequately cover teeth and gums. As a result, the mouth guard can become loose, and it will not adequately protect all areas of the teeth from trauma or injury. If a sports guard is too large and uncomfortable in the mouth, the wearer may decide not to wear one at all. Some generic mouth guards that require immersing the guard in hot water first to mould it against the teeth are a slightly better option. However, they still do not offer the best fit and protection when compared to the custom-fitted choice.
A custom-fitted mouth guard is made by your dental office and requires one visit to take dental impressions. Your dental professional will take an impression of your teeth and gums to create mouth model. The mouth model is used to create a sports guard that precisely fits your mouth for optimal protection and a secure fit. It usually only takes a couple of days for the mouth guard to be ready after the impression has been taken.
Mouth Guard Considerations
Don’t forget that mouth guards need to be replaced as they wear down. A thin or loose fitting mouth guard is not as effective when playing contact sports. If the wearer is young and has a mouth that is developing, replacement sports guard will be necessary more frequently. Try to avoid choosing a red or clear mouth guard because coaches or referees cannot discern whether a player is bleeding or is wearing a guard.
It is easy to overlook the importance of wearing a protective dental appliance, but the benefits are numerous. It is a more cost-effective option than having to fix a broken or chipped tooth caused by a sports-related injury.
About Dr. Joseph Salvaggio
|Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.|