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Everything You Need to Know About Mouthguards

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If you play impact sports, you might have heard how important it is to wear a mouthguard to prevent teeth or mouth injuries. A mouthguard can also help prevent teeth grinding, which several people suffer from when sleeping. Teeth grinding can wear down your enamel leading to cavities. Here is everything you need to know about teeth grinding:

1. Mouthguards Options

There are mainly three types of mouthguards:

  • Ready-made/stock mouthguards: These are bought over-the-counter and usually have a standard fitting. This means that they might not cater to the different sizes and shapes of people's mouths and teeth. That is why these mouthguards may not be recommended much, especially for children.
  • Boil and bite mouthguards: These are the most common or recommended types of mouthguards bought over-the-counter. You simply need to place them in hot water to soften them and then bite on them. This action makes them take the shape of your teeth and, therefore, offer better protection than stock mouthguards.
  • Custom-made/dentist-made mouthguards: These are made by dentists, meaning you cannot purchase them over-the-counter. You might need to visit a dentist so that the mould of your teeth can be taken to help build the most effective mouthguard. 

2. Pricing

Out of the three mouthguards mentioned above, your first choice should be custom-made, followed by the boil and bite, then stock mouthguard. Custom-made mouthguards are considered the best since they get the shape of your teeth precisely and a dentist gets a chance to inspect your mouth for any other dental problems.

As mentioned above, you will find that the better the fitting or more protection a mouthguard offers, the costlier it will be. Therefore, custom-made mouthguards might be the most expensive, followed by the boil and bite, then lastly stock mouthguards.

3. Maintenance

Remember, a mouthguard is used in your mouth, where there are multiple bacteria. Since you brush your teeth to keep them clean, and your gums healthy, you need to keep your mouthguard clean as well. Rinse it after use with warm soapy water; you can also disinfect it with a mild mouthwash. When it dries, store it in a clean, dry and aerated container that is located away from sunlight. Continuous exposure to high temperatures (e.g. high temperatures from direct sunlight and the interior of your car on a hot day) can damage your mouthguard. 

Learn more about your mouthguard options by contacting a local dentist