A mouthguard is a device used to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching during sleep or from injury during exercise. They can also help reduce snoring and relieve obstructive sleep apnea.
However, not all mouthguards are the same. There are three main types, depending on your needs. Read on to learn about the different types, including which type is best for certain situations.
What Do Mouthguards Do?
Tooth guards, also called sports guards or oral/dental protectors, refer to any device worn on the teeth to protect athletes from facial or head injuries. Are there older children or teenagers participating in contact sports, such as football, hockey, or rugby? Make sure he or she wears mouthguards during competition and practice. Although regular routine professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist, as well as brushing twice a day and flossing every day can help to keep the smile of teenagers bright, it is very important to wear a mouth guard to protect the smile.
Mouthguards for Sports
Mouthguards are made of sturdy but flexible plastic and are divided into three categories:
- Tailored. You can have a mouthguard customized by a dental professional. These are the most expensive thus the most comfortable ones you can have.
- Pre-formed plastic shape You cab have pre-formed plastic shape mouthguards and customize the fit by boiling the shield in water for a few minutes.
- Standard. The standard braces are pre-made and cannot be modified to fit a specific mouth. It provides protection but may interfere with breathing or speech due to imprecise coordination.
Do Mouthguards Work?
It doesn’t matter which mouthguard an active teenager chooses to wear. The results of the impact study show that wearing a mouthguard made of a variety of materials can provide significant protection to teeth compared with not wearing a mouthguard. In one study, athletes without mouthguards had a 1.6 to 1.9 times higher risk of oral injury.
How to care for your mouthguard
It is important to protect the mouthguard and keep it clean because it will spend a lot of time in the mouth.
To get the most out of the mouthguard, follow these steps:
- Brush and floss your teeth before putting on braces.
- After putting it in or taking it out, rinse the mouthguard with cold water or mouthwash. Avoid using hot water because it will deform.
- After each use, please clean it with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Check regularly for holes or other signs of damage, which means it needs to be replaced.
- Take your mouthguard to the dentist. They can ensure that it still fits and works properly.
- Store the mouthguard in a hard, ventilated container to protect the mouthguard and allow it to dry out between uses.
- Even if your mouthguard is not in the container, keep it out of the reach of any pets.
One thing to always keep in mind that mouthguards do not last forever. It is always advisable to change your mouthguards as early as you start noticing any signs of wear or holes in the time span of two to three years.