What would life be like if you were missing a few teeth? Not too great. We depend on our teeth for speaking, chewing, and smiling, so losing a few pearly whites puts a damper on your lifestyle. That’s why it’s important to keep your teeth protected and out of harm’s way.
Mouthguards, also known as mouth protectors, are a great tool for keeping your teeth safe and sound. Mouthguards minimize your risk of cracking, breaking or losing teeth. While mouthguards are typically worn during high-contact sports, they can also be used at night to protect against teeth grinding. If you’re considering a mouthguard, make sure you know what kind is best for your teeth, when you should be wearing it, and how to keep it clean.
- Protect your jaw, tissue, gums, and neck
- Cushion teeth to prevent fractures and displacement
- Stop teeth from sliding out of place
- Lower risk of a concussion
- Decrease teeth grinding at night
If you’re playing any type of high-contact sport, you better have your mouthguard ready. Between flying balls and swinging elbows, it’s easy for your mouth to become seriously injured while playing certain sports.
Mouthguards can be worn during the night to prevent your teeth from grinding. Stress and anxiety make us tense and cause us to grind our chompers, which is harmful. Teeth grinding leads to fractures, loose teeth, and could cause your teeth to fall out. While we can prevent our teeth from grinding during the day, many people grind their teeth while they sleep. Wearing a mouthguard at night prevents this and keeps your teeth in tip-top shape!
- Stock Mouthguards: Basic mouthguards that come in generic sizes. They are inexpensive and easy to grab, but often don’t fit your mouth as well as custom-fit mouthguards.
- Boil and Bite Mouthguards: Generic mouthguards purchased at sporting goods stores or drugstores. They should be boiled in water and then inserted into your mouth, where you must bite down. This creates a custom shape for your protector to fit your mouth and keep your teeth safe.
- Custom-Made Mouthguards: A dentist creates this type of mouthguard specifically for you. They may be more expensive, but they’re personalized just for you and offer the best comfort and protection for your entire mouth.
- Keep your mouthguard clean and dry (moist or dark areas cause bacteria to grow)
- Rinse with cool water before using
- Scrub thoroughly (at least once a week) with a toothbrush and toothpaste
- Bring your mouthguard with you when you see your dentist to have it checked
- Never leave your mouthguard in hot water or in the sun
- Replace your mouthguard if you notice fraying, deformation, or cracks and tears
- If you use your mouthguard every day, replace it every six months