A dental mouth guard is a protective covering worn over the teeth. Just as its name, it is worn to protect the teeth from teeth grinding or from injury during sports.
The dental mouth guard is mostly worn as a preventive measure against teeth grinding (bruxism). Teeth grinding is caused by gritted/clenched jaw muscles and can either occur while you’re awake (awake bruxism) or sleeping (sleep bruxism). Sleep bruxism is the more common type of bruxism and also the more difficult to treat. This is because the patients suffering from sleep bruxism are usually unaware that they even grind or clench their teeth.
Sleep bruxism can only be detected through its symptoms, which include worn-down teeth, jaw pain, facial pain, headaches, etc. or by a bed partner who may notice the grinding sound. Bruxism is a very common dental problem for both young and adult. According to Dr. Lana Rozenberg, a well-known NYC dentist, 1 in every 4 patients show a sign of wearing down in his or her teeth due to consistent teeth grinding.
Bruxism has always been attributed to teeth misalignment, but in the real sense, there are many other factors that are responsible for teeth grinding, such as certain medications, alcohol consumption, caffeine consumption, stress, and anxiety, etc.
If you do notice that you grind your teeth either during the day or at night, it is advisable that you quickly visit your dentist for a full dental evaluation. To preserve your teeth, your dentist would recommend to you a dental mouth guard. Basically, there are 3 types of dental mouth guard:
- Stock Mouth Protectors: these mouth guards come preformed and are ready to wear. Stock mouth protectors are the least expensive and can be easily obtained at most sporting departmental stores or any good sporting store. However, little or nothing can be done to stock mouth protectors to adjust their fit. Stock mouth protectors are bulky, which may make both talking and breathing difficult. A major shortcoming of this type of mouthguard is that they offer only little to no protection. Stock mouth protectors are not usually recommended by dentists near me.
- Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards: this type of mouthguard can also be bought at most sporting departmental stores. The boil-and-bite mouth guards fits better than the stock mouth guards. These mouth guards are made from thermoplastic material. According to its name, the boil-and-bite mouthguards are first inserted in hot water to soften them. Afterward, they are placed in the mouth and moulded around the teeth using tongue pressure and the finger.
- Custom-Fitted Mouth Guards: these are bespoke mouth guards and are perfectly designed to fit the patient’s mouth and teeth. Custom-fitted mouthguards are designed and created in the dental lab based on the patient’s need. To make the custom-fitted mouth guards, your emergency dentist would first make an impression of your teeth. This impression would then be used to make a model with which the mouth guard will be moulded using a special material. Custom-fitted mouthguards are the most expensive type of mouth guard because it is made from special materials, its preparation involves extra work and time, and it offers the most protection and comfort.
Most times, the dental mouth guard is worn over the upper teeth only, but in some cases like when the patient has metal braces or other fixed dental devices on their lower jaw, the dental mouth guard may be made for the lower teeth also.
Your dentist office near me can suggest the best mouth guard Houston for you. The best mouth guard Houston should be easy to clean, durable, resistant to wears and tears, comfortable, and should not restrict talking or breathing.
Best Boil-And-Bite Night Mouth Guard Include:
Oral-B Night-time Dental Guard: Oral-B is one of highly recommended boil-and-bite mouth guards out there. It has a pleasant, minty flavour and perfectly moulds to your teeth. All you need to do is put Oral-B in hot water to soften it. Once softened, you place it on your teeth and it sets. After that, you can trim off the excess to have a perfect semi-custom-fitted mouth guard. More so, Oral-B Night-time Dental Guard can be softened in the microwave.
Plackers Grind-No-More Dental Night Guard: this is also a ready-to-use mouth guard, it fits perfectly into the mouth, and it provides a quicker solution. Plackers Grind-No-More Dental Night Guard can either be worn on upper or lower teeth. Though this type of mouth guard is disposable, it can be cleaned with soap and water, toothpaste, or Efferdent tablets.
Best mouth guard for Awake Bruxism:
Dental Duty Professional Dental Mouth Guard: although this mouthguard is appropriate for overnight use, it can actually be worn at any time of the day. Irrespective of what is responsible for your teeth grinding, dental duty professional dental mouth guard is the most suitable option.
Ora-Guard Dental Grind Guard: this mouthguard is microwavable and can only cover the back teeth. Only the back teeth are mostly affected by bruxism and that’s what this mouth guard focuses on. It doesn’t disturb the sensitive front teeth. Ora-guard dental grind guard comes with a snug fit, which prevents the mouth guard from slipping or moving around while asleep. However, this snug fit can disrupt sleep and make the mouth guard uncomfortable to use.
Who Needs a Dental Mouth Guard?
Anyone can use the dental mouth guard – children and adults alike. Anyone who suffers from bruxism needs dental mouth guards – either sleep bruxism or awake bruxism – to prevent tooth damage. People who play sports, such as field hockey, lacrosse, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, boxing, football, etc. also need mouth guards. Those who participate in non-contact sports or recreational activities also need dental mouth guards as they may be exposed to a mouth injury.
How to Care For the Dental Mouth Guard?
Take the following step to care for your dental mouth guard:
- Rinse the dental mouth guard with a mouth rinse or cold water before and after each use. The dental mouth guard can also be cleaned using a toothbrush and mild soap.
- Gently clean the dental mouth guard in soapy water before rinsing it thoroughly.
- Always keep the mouth guard in a firm, perforated container to prevent damage but allow air circulation. The dental mouth guard should be kept in fresh clean water if it is acrylic.
- Keep the mouth guard from high temperatures, such as direct sunlight, hot surfaces, hot water, etc. in order to prevent its shape from distorting.
- Check the mouth guard occasionally for general wear and tear. Replace it as soon as possible if need be
- Take the mouth guard regularly for a dental examination.
To learn more about dental mouth guard Houston, contact us today.