Why is it needed?
Teeth are prone to damage during physical activities like skiing, contact sports like boxing or nighttime grinding of teeth. Traumatic dental injuries such chipped tooth, cracked tooth and knocked out tooth are the most common consequences of not wearing mouthguards.
Our teeth may appear to be tough and secured to the bone, but it is highly susceptible to injury when hit with excessive force. Mouthguards do not protect just the teeth, but as well as soft tissues in the mouth like cheeks, lips and tongue. These tissues are prone to be nipped by the teeth during traumatic incidents.
Night mouthguards are necessary for someone who grinds teeth while sleeping. Ask your partner or someone who sleeps with you to check if you grind teeth at night. Excessive forces of teeth grinding can cause chipped or cracked teeth.
Chipped or cracked tooth may look like a minor problem, but it is not! The damage can extend up to the central canal (pulp) of the tooth where blood vessels and nerves are located. Injuries to the pulp can cause the tooth to die or become non-vital.
Should I wear a mouthguard?
It is advisable to wear a mouthguard for any sport that has a strong chance for physical contact with other participant or hard surfaces such as (but not limited to the following):
- Skating and Skiing
- Martial Arts
Types of Mouthguards
There are different types of mouthguards, and our dentists will consider what type of mouthguards works best for every patient.
- Stock mouthguards. This type of mouthguards are readily available in sports shops and will fit almost all sizes of the jaw. It is affordable and preformed already. However, this type of mouthguard is not recommended since it does not fit properly to the teeth. It provides less support and can cause difficulty in breathing and talking.
- Bite and Boil mouthguards. This type of mouthguard is also available in sports shops. It is a thermoplastic material that is placed in hot water until it gets soft. Once soft, it is placed on the teeth by using tongue and finger pressure to mold it around the teeth. The drawbacks are poor fit and temperature-sensitive.
- Custom-fitted mouthguards. This type of mouthguard is the most recommended by dentists. It is custom made in every patient to ensure proper fit and stability of the material. Custom-fitted mouthguards guarantee the protection of all teeth and soft tissues.
Mouthguards are worn to protect your teeth, whether this is from a strong impact playing sport, or grinding your teeth when sleeping, its job is to prevent tooth damage.
- It prevents chipped or cracked tooth during physical activities, sports or sleep teeth grinding.
- It protects soft tissues like gums, lips, cheeks and tongue from getting nibbled when teeth clashes.
- It lessens the risk of having a tooth knocked out of the bone.
- It prevents serious injuries such as jaw fractures by helping to avoid situations where the lower jaw gets jammed into the upper jaw.