Did you know that athletes and young children who do not wear a mouth guard are more likely to suffer mouth damages as compared to those who wear the mouth guards?
Choosing to wear a mouth guard can save you a lot of pain resulting from teeth grinding and involuntary tongue biting. And yes; it will save you a lot of money. Those trips to the dentist to have broken teeth or jaws fixed can be pretty expensive.
The mouth guards come in different forms and are designed for various reasons. For starters, there are the night guards and the athletes’ mouth guard. The night guards are recommended for some reasons such as bruxism, a condition characterized by the action of clenching and grinding your teeth when you are asleep.
An athletes’ mouth guard, on the other hand, is meant to be worn for games that involve a lot of collisions. These include hockey, basketball, football, and mouth pieces designed for boxing just to mention a few.
What are mouth guards and what are their benefits?
A mouth guard is a flexible, plastic custom-fitted mouth device worn to protect mouth damage. Any sudden trauma to your mouth could cause teeth fracture or dislodge and a mouth guard is designed to prevent that by acting as a barrier between the lower and the upper jaw. The mouth protector can also work as a barrier between your lips and tongue, teeth and cheeks thus minimizing the risks of mouth tissue damage.
Mouth guards are comfortable, and they allow you to speak comfortably without limiting your breath. They are easy to fit, as well as clean and maintain. If well taken care of, they are tear-resistant which makes them durable, have no taste or odor.
Some of the main benefits of wearing a mouth guard include:
Prevents teeth damage – Sometimes you might clench or grind your teeth unconsciously especially while asleep and no matter how hard you try to avoid it, you realize that it has already become a habit. It can lead to chipped and broken teeth or even worse lead to the entire enamel wear. It could lead to expensive and unplanned medical procedures. But why go through all that while you can prevent it with night mouth guard. It works by blocking the upper set of teeth from reaching the lower set, therefore, eliminating any chances of clenching.
Minimizes pain – Bruxism is associated with intense pain like a toothache and headache. You would not wish to wake up to such painful mornings not to mention jaw sores, neck and ear pain. Putting on the mouth protector will save you the trouble by preventing bruxism from occurring in the first place.
Gives you peace of mind – You will have the confidence you need while on the field playing your favorite game knowing that you are protected. This reduces the tension of getting hurt which could distract you from doing your best.
Better sleep – The night mouth guards improve your sleeping pattern by minimizing the chances for bruxism and other jaw issues. This in return saves you from pain and discomfort that might disturb your sleep.
The list of the benefits of mouth guards is endless but what you can rest assured that they all aim at making your life better, improve your confidence and self-esteem by protecting your smile.
Types of mouth guards
Mouthguards come in two standard forms which are:
Boil and bite mouth guards – They are made from thermoplastic material. As the name suggests, you have to place the mouth piece in hot water for softening before putting it over your teeth. It is shaped to fit the shape of your mouth using the tongue and fingers.
Custom-fitted mouth protectors – The devices are customized or designed in the dental office to fit everyone’s specific needs. They are made in the laboratory based on the dentist’s instructions after evaluating you. Your dentist will listen to your problems, before making an impression or image of your teeth and mouth before handing it over to the laboratory and the professional can design it as described.
How Much is a Mouth Guard
Customized mouth guards
As mentioned, these devices are designed based on the dentist’s instructions. They are highly personalized and built of high-quality material. They are tailored in a manner that will comfortably fit your teeth and the shape of your mouth. They are ideal both for night and sports mouth protection. The custom mouth guards provide maximum protection for your mouth. They are very durable, and it takes a long time before they lose their shape unlike the over the counter mouth guards.
However, for maximum results and effectiveness, it is advisable to have it replaced after a few years. Due to the customization and specialty used when making these devices, custom mouth guards are much expensive compared to over the counter, but they are better regarding effectiveness and comfort. They are easy to fit and can be used both for protecting the teeth and alleviating the jaw tension.
The cost of a custom mouthguard depends on the purpose of the device, the material used and other factors depending on whether there are other specifications that your mouth may need.
- They are well designed to offer a maximum level of protection
- Their design can be customized to fit any activity either for the sports or for any other kind of activities that might cause mouth trauma
- They are comfortable eliminating any inconveniences or preventable injuries that might result from wearing the mouth protector
- It is expensive
- Needs a dentist appointment
Although some people may feel that the cost is way too much high and opt for over the counter mouth guards, they should consider buying this device as money well spent. Remember cheap can be expensive at times.
Boil and bite mouth guard
These are the most common over the counter mouth guards. They are shaped through the boil and bite method meaning that the device has to be placed in boiling water for a certain amount of time to soften the material used. After heating, the mouth guard is placed over the teeth, bitten gently to mold the shape of your teeth. The major downside of this mouth guard is that the plastic is thin and requires maximum precaution to avoid damage. The device does not require any unique customization and the material used is not quality compared to the custom mouth guard. This makes it cheaper than the custom one.
- It is cheap
- Easily accessible
- When biting, the plastic might be thinned out which will compromise the protection level you get from this device
- It is bulky which causes discomfort
- It is not durable
- Can cause injuries
- At times it is unable to withstand pressure during sports
Getting a mouth guard requires critical thinking. You should never rush to make decisions; instead, think about what you need rather than what you want. Your pocket money could suggest that you need to get the cheaper type of mouth guard but think wisely to know if you will be preventing trouble or making it worse. Do not let money deceive you.
The best thing to do is first talk to your dentist to make the decision together.