At Roam Dental, we are all about preventing dental injuries rather than treating them after they occur. One of the ways we do that is by providing custom bite guards to protect your teeth during sleep or when engaged in sports activities. While there are different types of bite guards available to purchase over-the-counter, the best and most protective ones are those custom-made for you, right here at our Shelby Township office!
What Are Bite Guards and What Do They Do?
Bite guards, also called occlusal guards, are dental devices that prevent trauma and injury to the teeth. They also protect the soft tissues, including the tongue, gums, and cheeks. A night guard is a type of mouthguard worn during sleep, and a sports mouthguard is a bite guard worn to lower the risk of sports-related dental injuries.
How Does a Night Guard Protect Your Teeth During Sleep?
If you grind your teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism, you are at risk of developing a host of oral and overall health concerns. A night guard is an acrylic oral appliance that fits over your teeth, similar to a retainer. It keeps your teeth from coming into contact with each other, which helps prevent tooth wear, cracks, and gum recession, along with jaw pain, neck pain, and morning headaches.
Your mouth protector will also act as a splint, maintaining the proper position of your teeth. Moreover, it will evenly distribute the clenching and grinding forces, so no single tooth will carry the entire force.
How Does a Sports Mouthguard Prevent Sports-Related Dental Injuries?
Sports mouthguards are bite guards designed to prevent dental injuries from accidental blows to the face. Studies show that athletes have a 60 times higher chance of suffering dental injuries when not wearing protective dental guards.
Sports mouthguards maintain healthy smiles by absorbing the forces of sudden impacts or accidental blows to the face. They reduce the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the soft tissues, including the lips and gums. Wearing a sports mouthguard will prevent you from accidentally biting your tongue.
What Are the Types of Bite Guards?
Here are the types of mouth protectors available to you:
- Stock Mouthguards: You can purchase these pre-made teeth guards from your local sporting goods store. They are available in different sizes, ready to wear. However, stock guards don’t usually fit well and may be bulky and uncomfortable.
- Boil and Bite Mouthguards: These over-the-counter mouthguards offer a better fit than the stock guards. To customize them, you need to place them in hot water to soften them, then mold them to your teeth. Boil and bite guards are often bulky and are not always comfortable to wear.
- Custom-Fitted Mouthguards: These bite guards, made from impressions of your mouth, offer the most reliable protection for your smile. Our custom mouthguards are comfortable, easy to clean, and never restrict your breathing or your speech!
Do All Types of Bite Guards Work the Same Way?
While night guards and sports guards both protect your oral health, they do so in different ways. Night guards are made of a thin, strong material that covers the teeth and withstands the grinding and clenching forces. Sports mouthguards, on the other hand, cover the teeth and gums and are made from a thick, soft material that absorbs the forces of high-intensity shocks and impacts. Night guards and sports mouthguards should never be worn interchangeably.
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