Why Wearing a Mouth Guard May Be Beneficial For You

Why Wearing a Mouth Guard May Be Beneficial For You

Dec 01, 2022

Sports accidents and bruxism are common causes of dental injuries and tooth loss. A heavy blow to the jaw during a game can cause your teeth to chip, break, or dislodge from the socket. Regular teeth grinding can cause your teeth to wear down, making them susceptible to chips, cracks, and breaks.

A mouth guard is an excellent way to protect your teeth and mouth from sports accidents and bruxism. Please keep reading to learn more about mouthguards and why they are essential. Visit our best dentist near you for custom mouthguards in Stony Brook, NY.

What is a Mouthguard?

A mouthguard is a dental device worn over the teeth to protect the teeth, jaw, cheeks, and gums from trauma caused by sports inquiries or teeth grinding. You or your child might be a good candidate for a mouthguard if they:

  • Grind or clench their teeth
  • Play contact sports like football, hockey, soccer, or basketball – These sports have a higher risk of a heavy hit to the face or jaw.
  • Engage in non-contact sports or activities like skating, biking, gymnastics, and ice skating

Types of Mouthguards

There are three main categories of mouthguards:

  • Stock mouthguards. They are ready-made generic guards in small, medium, and large sizes. Since they aren’t custom-made for your teeth, they rarely fit well and tend to be bulky. Unfortunately, the poor fit and bulkiness can make breathing and speaking difficult, affecting your game or sleep. While they are the cheapest, they offer the least protection and comfort.
  • Bite-and-boil mouthguards. Like stock guards, bite and boil guards are generic, and you can get them in the nearby drug or sports store. It would help if you placed the guard in hot water, put it in the mouth, and then bite down did about 20 seconds. It provides a custom-like fit. Then, remove the device and place it in cool water. You can repeat these steps for the best fit. While better than stock guards, boil-and-bite guards tend to be bulky and less durable.
  • Custom-made mouthguards. Your dentist uses impressions of your teeth and mouth to make a custom guard. They are specifically designed for your mouth and provide the best fit and comfort. They are also made from high-quality materials, meaning they are durable.

Benefits of Wearing a Mouth Guard

    • Protects tooth damage

A guard creates a protective barrier, ensuring that the top and bottom teeth don’t come into direct contact while sleeping or during a sports accident. Without a guard, regular teeth grinding and clenching wear down the teeth, making them vulnerable to chips, cracks, and breaks. A heavy blow to the face or jaw can also cause the teeth to crush against each other, resulting in damage.

    • Prevents tooth displacement and loss

A significant blow to the jaw or face can cause substantial displacement or completely knock out your teeth. A sports guard absorbs and distributes the impact of a crash, reducing the risk of displacing and dislodging your teeth.

    • Prevents damage to your restorations

Grinding your teeth at night or dental injuries during sports can cause your restoration, like fillings and crowns, to fall off, break, or chip. A mouth guard protects you against teeth damage from sports injuries and teeth grinding.

    • Jaw damage

During sports, chronic bruxism or a heavy blow to the jaw can lead to severe jaw damage and disorders like TMJ. Wearing a night guard or sports guard reduces jawbone damage and dislocation, preventing jawbone pain, discomfort, and damage.

    • Saves you money and time

Sports accidents and bruxism increase your risk of teeth, jaw, and head injuries. Wearing a mouthguard protects you from all these injuries, saving you from the discomfort, time, and money of repairing and replacing missing teeth.

    • Better sleep

Chronic or regular teeth grinding and clenching can disrupt sleep, leading to sleep deprivation. It can lead to daytime fatigue, sleeplessness, and difficulty concentrating. It can also cause or worsen airway disorders like sleep apnea and snoring, increasing your risk of serious health problems like heart disease and respiratory problems.

    • Soft tissue injuries

A blow to the face or jaw during a game can cause you to bite your cheeks, lips, tongue, and gums. Similarly, teeth injuries can have sharp edges which can hurt your soft tissues, resulting in pain, swelling, and bleeding. Wearing a mouthguard protects your mouth’s soft tissues from injuries.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you interested in custom oral appliance therapy near you? Contact Stony Brook Dental Group for more information.

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