A mouthguard is a soft piece of plastic that molds around your teeth. Wearing a mouthguard during certain activities has many benefits for your teeth, including protection against enamel damage. There are several types of mouthguards that you can select. In fact, you can buy most mouthguards from sporting goods stores.
For styles, there are one-size-fits-all or stock, boil-and-bite, and custom mouthguards. While each type of mouthguard has its own benefits, some provide more protection than others. A stock mouthguard offers minimal protection for your teeth. There is only one step with these mouthguards: simply place them in your mouth before use.
With a boil-and-bite, you will place the mouthguard into boiling water to soften it. Then, you will put it into your mouth while you bite down, leaving an impression. These mouthguards are a good middle ground in terms of money and protection compared to the others.
Finally, you can get a custom mouthguard from your dentist. These will provide the most protection out of any mouthguard. Your dentist will take an impression of your mouth, and then they will create a custom mouthguard, perfect for your teeth.
There are several reasons why you would want a custom mouthguard.
Sports or Intense Activities
Sports and extreme activities carry the highest risk of dental trauma. From stray elbows to foul balls, there are countless ways that you can get hit in the mouth and damage your teeth. Even if you don’t play a contact team sport, you should consider wearing a mouthguard. For example, mountain biking and rock climbing are solo activities. However, it is easy to fall or crash, which can leave your mouth vulnerable.
Mouthguards provide protection for your teeth and gums. The soft material cushions your teeth from clacking together in the event of a fall. When thinking about additional damage, this cushion can help minimize your risk of a concussion. Also, the plastic can help prevent cuts and bites to your gums and tongue.
If you should get hit in the face or fall, the mouthguard can spread the force of the impact across all of your teeth rather than just one section. This can help reduce the overall damage to your teeth, decreasing the likelihood of losing or breaking your teeth.
Bruxism is a condition in which a person grinds their teeth or clenches their jaw. Typically, this condition occurs while they are asleep, so they may not be aware of the behavior. Unfortunately, grinding your teeth can damage the enamel over time. This can increase your chances of developing tooth decay.
Also, grinding your teeth can chip or break your teeth because your teeth cannot handle the excess stress. However, wearing a mouthguard can minimize the damage to your teeth. The mouthguard will equalize the pressure across all of your teeth. Additionally, the soft plastic will provide a cushion to your teeth, which can reduce your chances of breaking your teeth.