A mouth guard is a covering for your teeth that protect them from external injuries or even some internal habits. Unlike braces, they are easily removable and worn temporarily. They also serve a highly different purpose from braces, which are worn to fix the alignment of your teeth. Mouth guards can be uncomfortable to wear and interfere with talking and even breathing. If you need a mouth guard, it’s best to ask your dentist to make a custom mouth guard for you. This is done by taking an impression of your teeth and then creating a device that is fitted to your mouth.
Reasons to Wear Mouth Guards
Mouth guards are mainly worn by athletes to protect their teeth from injury. But sometimes, you might need a mouth guard for personal reasons too, some of which have been explored below:
Also known as bruxism, grinding your teeth is more common than you think. According to the Canadian Sleep Society, about 8% of adults and 14% of kids report grinding their teeth a few times a week. Wearing a mouth guard while sleeping separates your upper teeth from your lower teeth, preventing any damage that can be caused by grinding them together.
Snoring is mainly a result of the soft tissues in your throat that narrow your airways and vibrate as you breathe. When you wear a mouth guard, the airways in your mouth stay open, eliminating the chances of your snoring.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which you tend to stop breathing temporarily as you sleep. While a severe case of sleep apnea requires medical diagnosis, a mild case can be treatable with mouth guards. They help push your tongue and lower jaw forward, keeping your airways open and preventing any interruption in your breathing.
Types of Mouth Guards
There are different types of mouth guard, depending on the reason why you need them. Here are the three main mouth guard types:
Splints are worn by people with an improper or bad bite. They cover up the deflective inclines on the teeth with a plastic material to create a new temporary bite surface that is in sync with the jaw joints. Once the correct bite is achieved, a permanent fix might be necessary.
As the name suggests, these types of mouth guards are worn by athletes while playing or practising a sport. Most sports guards are custom-fitted and cover the gums and teeth to provide protection for lips, gums, teeth and arches.
These types of mouth guards are generally worn by people at night to avoid teeth grinding, clenching or to prevent restorations and crowns from breaking. They are fitted to either the upper or the lower teeth. The biting surface of the night guard is smooth and fairly flat.
Mouth guards might look inconvenient but are highly necessary if you face any of the issues discussed above. Instead of buying a mouth guard from a pharmacy, speak to the dentists at 67th Street Dental and get a custom-made mouth guard. Our doctors and staff are well-trained, experienced and guarantee the highest levels of comfort and protection for your teeth.