If you or your children have participated in any action sports, you have probably used, or seen sport guards. Dental guards can also be used at night. In either case, the purpose is the same, to protect the teeth from damage. Mouth guards are not just for children, they are used in dentistry for those of all ages. If you are at risk for certain dental problems, your dentist may recommend a custom night or sports guard for you.
Night guards are most commonly suggested for those who grind their teeth at night, a condition called bruxism. A night guard can help alleviate sore and tense muscles that develop from consistent grinding. These tense muscles can result in tension headaches, popping and clicking jaws, and ringing in the ears.
Grinding can create teeth that are prone to decay. Wearing a mouth guard can help protect the tooth enamel, which can wear down over time from grinding pressure. For many patients with bruxism, wearing a night guard offers a better nights rest.
Sports guards are used for those participating in high-contact sports. Football, hockey, soccer, and rugby are a few sports that generally require mouth protection. These help prevent serious damage to the teeth and gums during a hit. The guard is made of a material that absorbs force, meaning they can reduce the impact to the entire skull, and could help prevent a brain injury as well.
While some mouth guards can be purchased over the counter, a dentist can provide you with a custom fit guard. Your dentist will create a mold of your mouth and send the impression to a lab. This ensures you have an accurate fit that will not fall out of your mouth or loosen over time.
Occasionally, long-term use of store-bought dental guards can lead to pain and dental issues. Because they are made of a cheaper material, they need to be replaced often.
Professionally fit mouth guards can help with minor bite adjustments, and they will be created from a material that is the correct density for your bite. This ensures that your teeth are given proper support where they need it, preventing pain from long term use.
To learn more about the benefits of wearing a sport or night guard, contact Advanced Dental Care of Springfield at (217) 717-4551 today. Dr. Matt VanderMolen will protect your smile for years to come.