What are Mouth Guards?
- Mouth guards are customized protective coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury, teeth grinding and during sports.
- Mouth guards are individually designed and produced in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist’s instructions.
There are two types of mouth guards:
- Sports guards – to protect your teeth from damage in sporting activities.
- Night guards – to protect your teeth at night while sleeping from teeth grinding or bruxism and patients with TMJ.
A properly fitted mouth guard helps reduce injuries to the teeth and jaws during impact which occur in sports. Contrary to previous theories that mouth guards protect against concussions, recent research has shown that mouth guards do not reduce the rate of head injuries. Regardless of this, a mouth guard is recommended to be worn for mouth protection during sports as it may prevent or reduce the severity of the following injuries: chipped teeth, broken teeth, cuts and lacerations to the lips, biting injury to the tongue, broken jaw.
For the mouth guard to be the most effective, it needs to stay in the mouth even during a collision or impact. Commercially available “boil-and-bite” appliance do not provide very good retention, and have a one-size-fits-some shape which correctly fits only a portion of the general population. Dr. Martic fabricates custom-fit mouth guards in our office with a high-end forming machine that provides excellent fit and retention to maximize the effectiveness of the mouth guard.
The Mouth Guard Procedure:
- The dentist will makes an impression of the teeth and a mouth guard is then molded over the model using a special material.
- Mouth guards cover the upper teeth only, but in some instances (such as if you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw), the dentist will make a mouth guard for the lower teeth as well.
Mouth Guard Benefits:
- Absorbs the shock of impact.
- Protects teeth from severe damage.