Getting a dental mouth guard might not be something you’ve ever considered. Those are just for football or hockey players, you might have thought—and yes, while mouth guards are worn by many athletes, they can help beyond just taking a hit.
A dental mouth guard can be a comfortable, convenient way to treat a number of oral health concerns, but is it the right answer for your dental issue? It’s time to learn more and find out.
What is a Dental Mouth Guard?
The purpose of a dental mouth guard can be as simple as you assume it is: a mouth guard is a synthetic cover worn over the teeth, commonly used to prevent injury due to impact, grinding, or biting. They are typically only worn over the upper teeth, but in some cases are fitted to both upper and lower sets of teeth.
At Herrick Dental, we regularly craft mouth guards to protect athletes during their activities, and for sufferers of TMJ disorder, to protect their teeth while sleeping.
How a Mouth Guard Works
Mouth guards typically come in one of three types:
- Stock Pre-formed Guards: Dentists do not recommend stock mouth guards. They are mass produced pre-formed plastic guards that cannot be adjusted to your bite, and don’t necessarily provide adequate protection to teeth.
- Boil-and-Bite Guards: These guards offer a little better protection, as they are placed in hot or boiling water to soften them, then molded to your teeth by pushing with your fingers.
- Custom-Fit Dental Guards: Custom-fitted mouth guards are we recommend at Herrick Dental. Each set is individually shaped to fit your unique bite pattern, and is crafted out of strong, durable material.
Ideally, the perfect mouth guard should fit comfortably and allow you to talk and breath normally, be strong and resistant to tearing or breaking, and should be easy to clean.
The Benefits of Using a Mouth Guard
In many cases, wearing a mouth guard during physical activity can be the difference between a lost tooth, or just a sore mouth.
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, 13 to 39 percent of all dental injuries are sport-related, with men experiencing injuries twice as frequently as women. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that any child playing organized sports use a mouth guard.
Along with protecting your teeth, a mouth guard can also protect your tongue from being bitten during a hard impact.
And aside from sports-related activities, mouth guards are recommended for patients who grind their teeth while sleeping due to TMJ or TMD disorder. Not only will this protect teeth from wearing or being damaged, but it can also lessen or prevent headaches and discomfort caused by clinched teeth during sleep.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Mouth Guard?
You don’t have to be a full-time athlete to benefit from a mouth guard. They are recommended for any adult or child who plays sports, or participates in any physical activity with the chance for impact.
Likewise, if you have been diagnosed with TMJ, or are experiencing similar symptoms (headaches upon waking, difficulty sleeping or getting good rest, a sleep partner noticing your teeth grinding), a custom-fit mouth guard could be an easy solution to your problem.
Ultimately, you should make an appointment with Herrick Dental, and our professionals will help you assess if a dental mouth guard is the right choice for your needs. To make an appointment, call us at 614-891-0440 or use our form to request one today.« Back to blog