Mouth Guards/Night Guards

Mouth Guards/Night Guards

There are two appropriate ways where a dental mouth guard can be properly used. One is to prevent injury to the teeth from participation in sporting events. The other is to prevent grinding of the teeth during sleep or even during the day which can lead to TMJ disorder. First, let’s take a look at how a mouth guard made by a dentist can be beneficial to athletes. While there are mouth guards you can purchase in sporting goods stores or even at your local pharmacy these may not provide the protection you need.

The store bought mouth guards come in small, medium, large or one size fits all. It is best to go with the one size fits all unless you are absolutely sure of your correct size. These guards are usually fitted to your mouth by first dipping the guard in very hot water until it becomes pliable, then placing it in your mouth and gently biting down. This creates an impression of your teeth and when the guard cools you’ve got a custom fit that may be used for sports or teeth grinding depending on the instructions on the package.

While this sounds like an economical and easy way to get the mouth protection you need, it may not always be the best way. If you are suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction a store bought guard may even make it worse, as the package may state. Also if you are in a high contact sport a store bought guard may not hold up as well as one crafted by the dentist and the fit may not be perfect. In both cases, it is probably better to see your dentist and have an appropriate guard made for you. It’s not too expensive and ensures you get the right mouth guard for your needs.

To get a dental mouth guard, the first thing you’ll need to do is schedule a consultation with your dentist. He or she will examine your mouth and give you an evaluation of your condition. If they see evidence of bruxism this will certainly be addressed and the right guard will be created. Even if you are going in for a sports guard the dentist can make sure the guard not only protects your teeth from impact but fits perfectly thanks to the state of the art methods they use to create these custom guards. After a mold of your mouth is taken, your guard will be created and your dentist will call you when it is ready to be picked up. They will also advise you of proper care and use.