Night Guards/ Sports Guards
Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports.
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” mouth guard 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 dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard 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 mouth guard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and protection.
Who Needs a Mouth Guard?
Why Use a Mouth Guard When Playing Sports?
Can I Wear a Mouth Guard if I Wear Braces?
How Do I Care for My Mouth Guard?
- Rinse your mouth guard with cold water or with a mouth rinse before and after each use or clean it with a mild soap and a toothbrush.
- Clean the mouth guard in cool, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly.
- Place the mouth guard in a firm, perforated container to store or transport it. This permits air circulation and helps to prevent damage. If the mouth guard is acrylic, keep it in fresh clean water.
- Protect the mouth guard from high temperatures — such as hot water, hot surfaces, or direct sunlight — to minimize distorting its shape.
- Occasionally check the mouth guard for general wear. If you find holes or tears in it or if it becomes loose or causes discomfort, replace it.
- Bring the mouth guard to each regularly scheduled dental visit to have your dentist exam it.