What type of mouth guard do you need?
Depending on your situation, we may recommend that you wear one of the following types of dental mouthguards:
Sports mouth guards
(Athletic mouthguards) cover the upper teeth and are worn while playing sports that can put your teeth at risk of injury, such as rugby, football and hockey. Sports mouthguards can also be worn with braces and aligners.
Bruxism mouth guards
(Night Splints) are worn at night if you have the habit of grinding your teeth (bruxism). They may only cover the upper teeth or both upper and lower teeth. If you have severe bruxism, your mouthguard needs to be made of a stronger and thicker material to make sure your teeth will be protected.
How are mouth guards made?
To make sure your mouthguard is comfortable and offers all the protection you need, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth using soft putty. Your custom-fitted mouthguard will then be produced in our lab, made from strong acrylic that conforms exactly to the shape of your mouth.
The thickness of your mouthguard depends on its purpose. For most bruxism cases, a thin mouthguard may be all that’s needed. However, if your teeth grinding is causing damage to your teeth and putting a strain on your jaw, you’ll need a thicker mouthguard. Sports mouth guards are also made from thicker acrylic to offer maximum protection.
What are the benefits of custom-fitted mouth guards?
Custom mouth guards don’t lose their shape over time, offering long-term protection for your teeth. They prevent your teeth from moving and are designed to be comfortable for as long as you need to wear them.
Wearing a bruxism night splint prevents your teeth from grinding together at night. A mouthguard can reduce pain and discomfort in your mouth and jaws, reduce strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and even stop your bruxism over time.
Your dentist will advise you how long you need to wear your mouthguard for and how to keep it clean and hygienic between uses.
Custom-fitted mouthguards versus over-the-counter mouthguards
Sports mouthguards can be bought off the shelf, but as these are not designed to fit your mouth, they are less comfortable to wear and offers less protection against injuries. They can even cause damage to your teeth if you wear them for longer than recommended.
Wearing a store-bought mouthguard can also cause difficulty speaking or breathing, which isn’t the case for custom-fitted splints. They are also much less durable, losing their shape over time and needing to be replaced sooner.
Over-the-counter mouthguards can’t be worn with braces and aren’t suitable for wearing at night. If you need a night splint for bruxism, this needs to be custom-fitted by your dentist.
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