What are Mouthguards?
Mouthguards provide protection against injury during high-impact sports that could lead to reconstructive dental surgery. Initiated by boxers in 1890 to prevent severe injury, mouthguards are now a standard item for athletes. Dakota Ridge Dental also prescribes mouthguards to help individuals who suffer from sleep apnea, snore excessively, and grind their teeth.
Types of Mouthguards
Mouthguards have a variety of uses and can add value to your overall oral health, especially when playing sports. There are several types of mouthguards available, but it’s always best to get a recommendation from our dentist.
Over the Counter Mouthguards
Pre-made stock mouthguards, which are made from hard-wearing plastic, are an affordable option for contact sports. Stock mouthguards come in a variety of sizes, colors, and brands. However, they’re not particularly comfortable, so they are mainly worn for short periods of time. An over-the-counter mouthguard in Littleton isn’t the best solution if you’re looking for a nightguard, but does offer some protection for sports.
A boil-and-bite mouthguard is molded to fit your mouth. Because you have to boil the mouthguard before fitting it, the fit is usually quite secure. These mouthguards are made from thermoplastic, and you mold them manually with your fingers to fit your mouth.
Custom-made mouthguards require an appointment and discussion with our dentist. These are superior mouthguards for oral health, particularly if you grind your teeth at night.
A custom-made mouthguard can help prevent potential concussions if an athlete is dealt a blow to their chin. In addition, custom-made mouthguards help decrease snoring and sleep apnea episodes by pushing the tongue and jaw forward and forcing your airways to open.
How a Custom Mouthguard is Made
First, we will discuss the particular benefits associated with mouthguards and why you may need one. Then, our dentist will decide if you need an upper mouthguard, lower mouthguard, or both. Typically, protection is only needed for the upper teeth, as the lower teeth are set quite far back and have a lot of natural protection.
Professional athletes tend to favor custom-designed mouthguards because of their durability, fit, and comfort. Two types of mouthguards are available, namely pressure-laminated mouthguards and vacuum-formed mouthguards. The vacuum-formed mouthguards are the most widely used by the dental profession.
Dakota Ridge Dental will first make an impression of your teeth using alginate material and then wait for it to dry. The mouthguard, made from a thermoplastic polymer, is carefully molded over the dentition model. The fit should be snug, with a noticeable difference in thickness between the areas covering the anterior and posterior teeth.
If you experience teeth grinding, sleep apnea, snoring, or participating in physical sports, make sure to consult with Dakota Ridge Dental about your options.
Ready to Get Started With a Custom Mouthguard?
Dakota Ridge Dental is here to help, contact our Littleton dental office today to learn more about the best mouthguard option to fit your needs.