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A mouth guard is a cushion device that goes in the mouth to protect teeth from damage. Mouth guards are recommended to any person that is in contact sports or recreational activities. They protect and reduce the risk of sports related injuries. Injuries such as breaking teeth, injuring lip or cheek, chipping, and jaw injuries. In general, the mouth guard only covers the upper teeth, but in some cases your dentist can recommend upper and lower mouth guards, this depending if you have braces or if you wear other dental appliances. There are three types of mouth guards, stock mouth guards, boil and bite mouth guards, and custom fitted mouth guard.
Stock mouth guards come preformed and are ready to wear, they come in certain sizes like small, medium, and large. They are the least expensive and can be found in most sporting goods stores and some department stores. The disadvantage to stock mouth guards are that they don’t fit and stay in place properly. This causes the athlete to clinch his teeth together making it difficult to breathe and speak normally. They are also very ill-fitting and when it’s adjusted it lower the protection it should provide.
Boil and bite mouth guards can also be bought in most sporting goods and department stores. They have a better fitting than stock mouth guards. The way this guard works, you place the appliance in warm water until it becomes soft, then it is placed in to the mouth making sure it covers your teeth and gums. Using your fingers, lips, tongue, and cheeks the wearer forms it as it cools. The disadvantage to boil and bite mouth guards are that if not done correctly the protection will be minimal. This appliance is bulky compared to the other guards and retention is better than stock but inferior to a custom made appliance.
Custom mouth guards are the best fitted guards; they are fabricated based of an impression of your teeth. These type of guards provide the highest level of protection, the fit and comfort is excellent and creates minimal inconvenience when worn. Our Dentist in Santa Ana Dr. Danial Kalantari recommends this type of guard to his patients that play sports and recreational activities. The only disadvantage is the price, but for the lab work and protection of your teeth it should be considered money well spent.
It is very important no matter the mouth guard that you have to keep it well maintained. Rinse and brush after and before each use, store it in a container that has vents to keep bacteria from growing, never leave the guard in sun or hot water, check fit and for signs of wear, and keep away from pets. Most important bring the guard to your dental checkups. If you have any question regarding mouth guards, contact your friendly dental office Smiles on Bristol Dentistry. Contact Us