As you watch an NFL game and several other sporting events, you see players putting mouth guards in place before hitting the field. This protects their teeth from being damaged during play. The mouthguards you get from your Gainesville dentist work in the same manner.
When you are actively engaged in playing at sports isn’t the only time you may need a mouthguard. When you sleep, your teeth are equally at risk for damage. A condition called bruxism can lead to accelerated tooth damage. This is caused by a person clenching and grinding their teeth while they are sleeping.
There are Options Available
Your Gainesville dentist will help to combat tooth damage with a mouthguard designed to fit perfectly in place. They will use one of the following types:
- A stock mouth guard is designed to fit the average mouth. The problem with these pieces of plastic, is they are loose, bulky and often prevent normal breathing and talking. Dentists tend to shy away from this type, because they don’t offer the best protection.
- A boiled mouthguard is the next step up. This is a piece of thermoplastic that is placed in hot water. This turns it into a moldable substance that is then placed on your teeth. The plastic then forms a tight mold that offers better protection.
- Customized mouthguards are used for optimal protection. Your Gainesville dentist will take a mold of your mouth. They will then create this custom piece to fit perfectly in place. This prevents obstructed breathing and allows you to comfortably speak with the guard in place.
Designed for the Entire Mouth
The mouthguard designed for you will protect both the upper and lower sets of teeth. When it is in place, you’ll have protection from impact and grinding damage. A bit splint is often added to prevent further damage from occurring to your teeth.
Benefits of Mouthguards
The mouthguard provided by your Gainesville Dentist will offer quite a few benefits when you wear them. This includes protection from:
- Broken teeth
- Cerebral hemorrhaging
- Chipped teeth
- Jaw fractures
- Neck injuries
- Root damage
- Tooth loss
It is estimated 200,000 annual injuries are avoided by using mouthguards.
How Do You Care for Your Mouthguard
The following tips will help to preserve the mouthguard and reduce the risk of an infection.
- Always clean mouthguards with soap and warm water. Avoid using hot water, especially if you have a boiled mouthguard.
- Soak your mouthguard in mouthwash before you put it away.
- Always place the piece in a well ventilated storage box. This allows the piece to remain protected, while giving it the ability to dry.
- Avoid placing the mouthguard in direct sunlight.
- Do not store in an area that may become hot. An example is a locked car in summer.
- Avoid bending the mouthguard.
- Never use someone else’s mouthguard.
- Call your Gainesville dentist if you notice cracking or other problems with this piece of equipment.
With a little care, your mouthguard will last for a few months. Remember that the mouth changes as we age. It is important to routinely follow up with your dentist to ensure yourmouthguards continue to provide you with ample protection.
Looking to get a mouthguard made just for you? Contact us to schedule a dental analysis!