Protecting Your Teeth and Mouth with Mouthguards

Protecting Your Teeth and Mouth with Mouthguards

March 1, 2023

What Is a Mouthguard?

It is a dental application that cushions the front teeth and jaw to protect them from external damage. Typically, mouthguards are popular among sportspersons who need extra protection in their mouths during high-contact sports.

How Do Mouthguards Work?

Depending on the reason for getting a mouthguard, it will protect your teeth differently.

Typical mouth protectors work by cushioning teeth sufficiently to absorb shock from external impact. Therefore, after an accident, the damage will not be too severe in your oral cavity.

Some other mouthguards work by limiting contact between the upper and lower jaw. The goal is to alleviate some pressure from your jaw and teeth.

Who Needs Mouthguards?

Although mouth protectors are popular among sportspersons, other people can use them. It depends on the type of mouthguard you choose. Some of the situations that merit mouthguards are:

  1. Bruxism – is a condition for chronic teeth grinding, usually at night. Although it is common among children and teenagers, some adults suffer from bruxism too.
  2. High-contact sports – participating in sporting activities like football, basketball, lacrosse, hockey, wrestling, or soccer heighten the risk of dental damage.
  3. TMD – is an acronym for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. It occurs when the connective joint between the skull and the jawbone is dysfunctional. One of the treatment protocols entails a customized mouthguard.

Types of Mouthguards to Choose

  1. Stock mouthguards – they are readily available pre-made mouth protectors. Ideally, one size fits all. They offer basic protection to teeth but do not fit properly. Therefore, dentists at Westbay Dental – Tampa discourage using these mouth protectors.
  2. Boil and bite mouthguards – are also pre-made protectors featuring a thermoplastic material. The mouthguard fits a lot better than stock mouth protectors. You only need to put it in hot water before wearing it. You can then use your finger or tongue to line it well on your teeth.
  3. Customized mouthguards – are the best mouth protectors in dentistry. A dentist in Tampa will design a mouth protector that meets your needs and fits like a glove.

Benefits of Wearing a Mouthguard

Mouthguards are not just for sports persons. Instead, their benefits to oral health are the reason for their popularity and value. Some benefits of wearing a mouthguard are:

  1. Shock absorption – although a mouthguard does not eliminate dental-related injuries, it reduces the impact. The mouthguard cushions teeth and jaw to absorb some of the shocks of impact.
  2. Preventing tooth loss – teeth can easily get knocked out after external pact. A mouthguard secures teeth to prevent dislodging from the jawbone during an accident or injury.
  3. Protecting the jawbone – mouthguards prevent jaw fractures resulting from injuries and accidents.
  4. Preventing soft-tissue damage – Dental trauma can damage the soft tissues of your mouth, including lips, gums, tongue, and inside cheeks.
  5. Protecting teeth structures – teeth get fractured upon external impact. A mouthguard prevents teeth from cracking, chipping, and breaking. Further, a mouthguard to prevent nerve damage to a tooth.

How to Choose the Right Mouthguard

The rule of thumb in getting the best mouthguard is ensuring you engage a professional in the process. If unsure where to begin, you can book an appointment with Dr. Eric Boe for a comprehensive guide. Some tips for choosing the right mouthguard are:

  1. Comfort – a good mouth protector should be comfortable, especially if you wear it for a prolonged period.
  2. Purpose – mouthguards in Tampa, FL, serve different purposes. Some dental appliances are specially made for treating certain oral problems like teeth grinding. Liaise with your dentist IN Tampa to customize a mouth protector specific to your underlying dental needs.
  3. Functionality – a mouthguard should not just function correctly, but also allow optimal functionality for your mouth. You should not experience difficulty breathing or speaking when you wear your mouthguard.
  4. Proper fit – an ill-fitting mouthguard will defeat the purpose of protecting your teeth. Instead, ensure your mouthguard has a snug fit, optimally protecting your teeth and jaw.
  5. Tear-resistant – if the goal of a mouthguard is to protect your teeth, it should resist tears. The last thing you want is a mouth protector that rips or breaks on the slightest exertion of pressure.
  6. Ease of maintenance – you should be able to clean your mouth protector easily. Besides, you should not always need assistance to wear or remove your mouthguard.

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