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Ask the Experts
Mouth guards are an essential protective gear worn by athletes, especially those who participate in contact sports like football, hockey, and boxing. They are designed to cover the teeth and gums, reducing the risk of dental injuries, and preventing concussions. It come in various types and materials, and the right choice depends on the athlete's needs and preferences.
Types of Mouth Guards
1. Stock Mouth Guards
Stock mouth guards are pre-made, ready-to-wear oral appliances that are designed to protect the teeth and mouth during physical activities such as contact sports. They are available in a variety of sizes and can be found at most sporting goods stores.
Stock mouth guards are typically made from a thermoplastic material that softens when heated and then molds to the shape of the teeth and gums when the user bites down. However, because they are pre-made, they may not fit perfectly and may not provide as much protection as custom-made can.
While stock guards can be a more affordable option, they are generally not recommended for high-contact sports where there is a greater risk of injury. For sports with higher risk of injury, custom-made mouth guards are usually recommended as they offer a better fit and more comprehensive protection.
2.Boil-and-Bite Mouth Guards
Boil-and-bite guards are a type of dental mouth guard that can be molded to fit an individual's teeth. These are typically made of thermoplastic material, which becomes soft and pliable when heated.
To use a boil-and-bite mouth guard, you first need to bring a pot of water to a boil. Then, you remove the pot from heat and submerge the mouth guard in the hot water for a few seconds. After this, you remove the mouth guard from the water, allow it to cool for a few seconds, and then place it in your mouth.
Once the mouth guard is in your mouth, you bite down on it and use your fingers to mold it around your teeth and gums. You may need to repeat the heating and molding process a few times to achieve the best fit.
Boil-and-bite guards can be used to protect the teeth and gums during sports and other physical activities. They can also be used to help prevent teeth grinding and clenching while sleeping, a condition known as bruxism.
It's important to note that boil-and-bite they are not a substitute for regular dental check-ups or proper oral hygiene. If you have any concerns about your dental health, you should consult with a dentist.
3.Custom-Made Mouth Guards
Custom-made are dental appliances that are designed to fit the unique shape of an individual's mouth. These guards are often recommended by dentists and orthodontists to protect teeth and gums during physical activities such as sports or to prevent teeth grinding at night.
To make a custom-made mouth guard, a dentist or dental professional will first take an impression of the individual's teeth and gums. This impression is used to create a mold of the individual's mouth, which is then used to create the mouth guard. The mouth guard is made from a durable, yet comfortable material that is designed to fit snugly over the teeth and gums.
There are several advantages to using a custom-made mouth guard over an over-the-counter mouth guard. First, custom-made guards offer a more precise fit, which provides better protection against impact or grinding. Additionally, custom-made are typically more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
Overall, custom-made mouth guards can be a valuable investment in protecting an individual's teeth and gums during physical activities or while sleeping. It's important to consult with a dental professional to determine the best type of mouth guard for an individual's needs.
Materials Used in Mouth Guards
Dental mouth guards are typically made of a thermoplastic material that is soft and flexible when heated, allowing it to be molded to fit the teeth. Some may also have a hard outer layer for added protection.
Caring for Mouth Guards
It is also important to clean the mouth guard regularly. This can be done with a toothbrush and toothpaste, or with a specialized cleaning solution. It is important to avoid using hot water, as this can damage the mouth guard.
FAQ's Mouth Guards
A mouth guard is a protective device that is worn over your teeth during athletic or recreational activities to protect your teeth and gums from injury.
Mouth guards work by absorbing and distributing the force of impact across the entire mouth, reducing the likelihood of dental trauma, concussion, and other injuries.
Mouth guards are typically made from a thermoplastic material that is molded to fit the shape of your teeth.
No, mouth guards should not cause pain when they are properly fitted and worn.
Yes, you can wear a mouth guard even if you have braces. However, you may need to have a special mouth guard made to accommodate your braces.