Even though we have come a long way with dental restoration technologies, nothing compares to your natural smile. Here at Kenneth J. Wolnik, DDS. , we encourage all of our patients to take preventative measures to protect their teeth. In this blog we will discuss the different types of mouthguards available.
Types of Mouthguards
Athletic Guards – Athletic mouthguards are designed to protect your teeth while playing sports or other physical activities. If you play a sport where you’re in a catching position (think: hockey goalie or baseball catcher), it’s critical to wear a face cage to protect your face, mouth, and jaw from injury.
There are three types of athletic mouthguards available:
- Stock mouthguard: The lowest cost option is a stock mouthguard, which offers the least protection because the fit adjustment is limited. It may interfere with speech and breathing because this mouthguard requires that the jaw be closed to hold it in place. A stock mouthguard is not considered acceptable as a facial protective device.
- Mouth-formed protectors: These mouthguards come as a shell-liner and “boil-and bite” product. The shell is lined with acrylic or rubber. When placed in an athlete’s mouth, the protector’s lining material molds to the teeth and is allowed to set. The lining of the “boil-and-bite” mouthguard is immersed in boiling water for 10-45 seconds, transferred to cold water and then adapted to the teeth. The “boil-and-bite” mouthguard is used by more than 90 percent of athletes who use mouthguards. While they are less expensive than custom-made guards, the fit is not as good and they do not last as long.
- Custom-made mouth protectors: The best choice is a mouthguard custom-made by your dentist. It offers the best protection, fit and comfort level because it is made from a cast to fit your teeth.
Bite Guards – If you’ve ever woken up with a sore jaw or teeth, you may benefit from wearing a bite guard. A custom-fit bit guard is worn at night to protect your teeth and jaw from clenching or grinding during sleep. Custom bite guards are soft and fit comfortably on the upper or lower teeth to lessen the stress and pressure of grinding.
To learn more about the different types of mouthguards and other preventative techniques to protect your teeth, contact Kenneth J. Wolnik, DDS. today!
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