The Role of Mouthguards in Dentistry
Modern dentistry has come a long way in improving dental care for patients. There are different oral appliances invented to help improve the dental health of patients. This ranges from dental crowns and veneers to dentures and mouthguards. When your dentist suggests the use of a mouthguard in Calgary, it may not be exciting news, unless you understand what it is for, and how it can benefit you.
What Are Mouthguards?
They are dental appliance that is used to protect teeth from the external impact that can damage them. Mouthguards in Calgary AB can in many forms and designs, and they are developed to serve different purposes in dentistry. However, their chief focus is to protect teeth from both internal and external forces that can cause damage.
What Are the Different Types of Mouthguards?
Understanding the different types of mouthguards near you will help you figure out their role in dental care. There are 3 main types:
- Stock mouth protectors – they are readily available because they are pre-formed. You can find them in most sport shopping stores. They are very common because they are affordable and readily available. Still, dental experts do not recommend these types of mouthguards. This is because they make it difficult to breathe and even talk. They also can be ill-fitting because they are pre-formed.
- Boil and bite mouth protectors – these are also very readily accessible in local sport shopping stores. They are also pre-made, and ready to wear. The only difference is the material used to make them. The boil and bite mouth protectors feature a thermoplastic material that makes them adjustable with temperature changes. To wear them, therefore, you put them in hot water, then place them over your teeth. You then smooth the mouthguard accordingly, to fit the structure of your dentition.
- Custom-fitted mouth protectors – these are the best types of mouthguards. They are not as affordable as other types, but they are worth the investment. Your dentist will recommend them because they are customized for your unique dentition. A dentist will take the impressions of your teeth to create the perfect fitting mouthguard for you. The mouthguard, therefore, will offer adequate protection to your teeth. This makes these types of mouthguards very comfortable to wear, with ease of breathing and talking.
The mouthguards mentioned above are generally used for the upper teeth only. This is because of the upper teeth re the most vulnerable to external impact. However, in some cases, the dentist might suggest having a mouthguard even for your lower teeth. This is only for custom-fitted mouth protectors. Such a situation can be when you have braces or other oral appliances.
When Are Mouthguards Used?
Mouthguards can be used by anyone, regardless of age. The primary role of mouthguards is to protect teeth from damage, they offer a soft cushioning that reduces the pressure of external impact. Some of the situations when mouthguards should be used include:
- High-contact sports – some sporting activities can hurt your facial structures, including your teeth. This includes boxing, rugby, soccer, hockey or even football.
- Other sporting activities – if you are very active in sports, mouthguards should be part of your lifestyle. Non-contact sports like gymnastics can also compromise the safety of your teeth.
- Recreational activities – these are activities that can cause you injuries. They include bike-riding, skateboarding, mountain biking, to mention a few.
- Bruxism – this is a condition where people grind their teeth when they sleep. The condition can cause a strain on the temporomandibular joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. To prevent this, your dentist might prescribe a mouthguard for use at night. These night guards are specially made to have a nocturnal bite plate that will help protect your teeth from thinning and hypersensitivity.
Benefits of Mouthguards
With the primary function of protecting teeth from damage, mouthguards are very beneficial, especially to sportspersons. Some of the benefits include;
- Reducing the pressure and force of external impacts.
- Preventing mouth-related injuries – for example, biting your tongue, hurting your cheeks, as well as lips.
- Preventing nerve damage on teeth.
- Preventing tooth breakage or chipping.
- Protecting your jawbone from fracturing.
- Preventing the premature knock-out of teeth.