Mouth Guards and Bite Splints are a type of covering worn over the teeth to protect it from injury resulting from teeth grinding (bruxism) or during sports. They are also used in the treatment of TMJ (temperomandibular joint) disorders.
Types of Mouth Guards
Mouth guards can be of the following types
Stock Mouth Protector: They are available in most department stores or those that sell sporting goods and are ready to wear. Their fit is usually uncomfortable, is bulky and makes breathing or talking difficult. Moreover they provide very little protection and as such are not recommended by dentists.
Boil and Bite Mouth Protectors: They are also available in stores that sell sporting goods but provide a better fit and protection compared to stock mouth protectors. They are made of thermoplastic material. Before putting into the mouth they are placed in hot water to soften and then shaped in the mouth using fingers and tongue.
Custom -fitted Mouth Protectors: It is custom designed to suit individual’s mouth. Impressions of the teeth are taken and the moulded model is used in preparation of mouth guards. Since it is custom made it is comparatively expensive and long lasting.
In case of teeth grinding at night special appliance called bite splint or nocturnal bite plate may be created to prevent damage to the teeth.
Ideal Candidate for Mouth Guard
Any person at a risk of injury to the mouth can use mouth guards specially those who play contact sports like football, basketball, soccer etc. Adults or children who grind or clench their teeth at night can benefit from bite splints that prevent damage to the teeth.
- After each use make sure to clean the mouthguard properly with toothpaste and tooth brush or with a mouth rinse
- Occasionally it needs to be cleaned with cold, soapy water
- Do not expose it to high temperatures such that its shape gets distorted.
- To store it or transport from one place to another, place it in a firm, perforated container so that it gets adequate air.
- Check it occasionally for wear and tear
- Get it examined by your dentist at every scheduled visit.
To know more about mouth guards or bite splints contact our office.