Mouthguards & Nightguards
Mouthguards and nightguards are essentially the same thing. Mouthguards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports. Dr. Hugh Flax is concerned you and/or your child get the proper type.
professionally-made mouthguards and nightguards.
There are three types of mouthguards:
- Stock mouth protectors are preformed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting good stores and department stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little or no protection. Dentists do not recommend their use.
- Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The “boil and bite” mouthguard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure.
- Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist’s instructions. First, your Atlanta or Dunwoody, GA area dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouthguard is then molded over the model using a special material. Due to the use of the special material and because of the extra time and work involved, this custom-made mouthguard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and protection.
Generally, mouthguards cover your upper teeth only, but in some instances (such as if you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw), your dentist will make a mouthguard for the lower teeth as well. Your dentist can suggest the best mouthguard for you. An effective mouthguard should be comfortable, resist tears, be durable and easy to clean, and should not restrict your breathing or speech.
If you grind your teeth at night, a special mouthguard-type of dental appliance — called a nocturnal bite plate or bite splint — may be created to prevent tooth damage.