Types of mouthguards
Most dentists recommend a properly fitted mouth protector. However, mouthguards come in three basic types: the pre-made mouthguard, the “boil-and-bite” fitted mouthguard, and the custom-made mouthguard.
Stock mouth guards
These are the over the counter mouth guards that come pre-formed and ready to wear. Stock mouth guards are typically one size fits all and inexpensive. They make sleeping uncomfortable, may make breathing difficult, offer very little protection, and unfortunately are not easily adjustable.
Boil and bite mouth guards
To use this type of mouthguards, one has to first soften it in hot water and then mold it around the mouth using the fingers and tongue. Overall, these fit better than stock mouth protectors, but it still does not give a precise, customized fit.
These are made to personally fit a patient. Custom-fitted mouthguards are more expensive than stock mouth guards and bite and boil mouthguards. But, custom-fitted mouthguards offer the best fit, comfort, and protection.
Custom-fitted guards can also be used by athletes to protect the teeth. Mouthguards can reduce the risk of injuries, broken teeth, and bruising of the lips and cheeks during sports activities.
Custom-fitted dental nightguards
Your dentist may prescribe a dental nightguard if you are suffering from sleep apnea, snoring, and/or bruxism (grinding and clenching of the teeth). Long-term bruxism will wear down the enamel of the teeth and can cause oral and other possible health problems.
Dental nightguards are individually made-to-fit at a professional dental lab using an impression of the patient’s teeth. Many insurance plans will cover some of the cost of this type of mouthguard. Nightguards protects against tooth wear and muscle strain and offer improved comfort. In most cases, these appliances can also help relieve jaw pain from grinding and clenching.
Custom-made sports guards can be used to protect your teeth especially in contact sports. These have also been shown to reduce risk of concussions following injury.
If you experience any of these issues, visit your dentist in Vancouver to learn more about how a mouthguard can protect your teeth. Asante Dental Centre understands the need for mouth and nightguards and can help you choose the right guard for your situation.