For many lifestyles, mouth guards are part of an essential oral protection regimen. We’re familiar with mouth guards for sports; they prevent players from taking damage to their teeth and gums. Mouth guards are used for many other conditions, especially dental health and wellness. At Kids First Dental in South Carolina, we can fit you for a mouth guard that’s custom made for your needs.
There are three types of mouth guards:
Professionally made and custom-fitted mouth protectors are designed and fabricated in a dental lab to the exact specifications your dentist at Kids First Dental in South Carolina sends them. Your dentist takes an impression of your teeth, then forms a mold. It takes time and special material to make the model. It’s more expensive than other kinds of mouth guards, but it offers an unmatched level of comfort and protection.
Over-the-counter or stock mouth protectors are available at department stores and sporting goods shops. They’re far less expensive than custom-fitted mouth protectors. Almost nothing can be done to customize their fit. They’re hard to wear and offer little protection. Dentists don’t recommend them.
“Boil and bite mouth protectors” are available at sporting goods stores. They’re better than stock mouth protectors, with a better fit. Made of thermoplastic, patients place them in hot water where they soften. They then place the malleable protector in their mouth, using their finger and tongue to shape the protector.
Mouth guards worn at night are called night guards or bite splints. Night guards are used to treat bruxism, a serious condition caused by grinding of the teeth during sleep. Bruxism leads to high degrees of wear and tear on the teeth, especially the biting surfaces. It can even cause tooth loss, broken fillings, fractured teeth and worn away cusps.
Your dentist at Kids First Dental in South Carolina can suggest the best mouth guard for you. An effective mouth guard must be fitted to your particular bite, teeth, and jaws. It will also be durable, comfortable, and no trouble to clean. A good mouth guard can’t interfere with your speech or breathing.