Protecting our teeth from damage is important, especially when engaging in sports activities. While an active lifestyle is a common source of dental damage, it can also be the result of conditions such as bruxism. Grinding our teeth can occur at night, or it can occur subconsciously throughout the day. In both cases, a mouthguard can do a lot to help ease the symptoms and prevent tooth damage. When considering getting a mouth guard, get the advice of Dr. Coelho to determine which one is right for you. She’ll help you understand your relevant risks and which guards are able to address them properly.
Common Questions About Mouthguards
Mouthguards are a common appliance used to treat oral health concerns and protect our teeth during an active lifestyle. There are two guards that are commonly used, with soft mouthguards being the most frequently seen. Hard mouthguards are used to address certain medical needs, including bruxism and certain types of sleep apnea.
Do I Need a Mouthguard?
There are many reasons that you may benefit from getting a mouthguard. They’re an essential piece of protective equipment for those living an active lifestyle. If sports or other physical activities are a common part of your daily life, a sports guard can help. Speak to Dr. Coelho to determine if you’d be best served by a guard that covers one arch of your teeth or both.
Bruxism is a medical condition typified by grinding your teeth. It most commonly occurs when you sleep, causing you to wake up with a jaw and teeth that are sore and achy. Some patients experience symptoms during the day as well. This condition cannot be treated with a mouth guard, but it is possible to protect yourself from symptoms with an appropriate night guard.
What’s Involved In Fitting A Mouth Guard?
While it’s possible to get preformed mouth guards, they are often uncomfortable and only provide minimal protection. Boil-and-bite guards, as the name implies, provide some degree of customization. The material they’re made from can be boiled to soften it, at which point you bite down on the material and leave it in place until it thoroughly cools. This provides a better fit and greater comfort. You may want to invest in a custom-fitted mouthguard. These offer the greatest degree of protection and comfort as they are specifically designed to accommodate your teeth and gums.
Is It Difficult To Care For Mouth Guards?
To ensure your guard can continue to protect your teeth, it’s important to properly care for them. Thankfully this generally only requires keeping it clean by washing it with warm soapy water. Don’t use hot water to wash your guard to avoid causing it to deform. When you aren’t wearing it, you can extend its life by storing it in a protective plastic case. However, it should never be placed in a napkin. This is a common reason patients report that their mouthguard was thrown out.
Want to confirm that a mouthguard can help protect your teeth?
Schedule a visit to see Dr. Alethea Coelho today. She’ll perform an assessment of your activities and oral health and determine if a mouthguard can help you!