Safeguarding your teeth with mouthguards
Ever wonder what’s that funny thing boxers or athletes wear in their mouth during tournaments and what it’s for? You’re probably wondering about mouthguards, devices that keep someone’s teeth safe during strenuous activity.
Ready-made vs. custom-made mouthguards
They come in different types. For instance, there are the ready to wear mouth protectors that you can buy at sporting shops. These stock mouth protectors are fixed, so you can’t really do much with their fit. They are also too inconvenient for many users.
The better alternative is boil and bite mouth protectors, which can also be bought from stores. This product works by softening it in hot water and then shaping it around the teeth while it’s still soft. As it requires hot water to use, it’s not always applicable and usable. In the field, you may just want to have custom-fitted mouthguards.
Most people prefer a custom-fitted mouthguard, because it is designed solely for them. Thus, it fits snugly in the mouth and doesn’t move around, hence not distracting them from what they are doing. Although this is more expensive than ready made, fixed mouth protection device, it’s much more convenient in the long run.
Visiting your dentist
Your dentist can help design a custom-made mouthguard for you based on the impression of your teeth. This mouthguard takes skill, craftsmanship, and time. Thus, it’s more expensive than ready-to-wear mouth protectors on the market. Dentists also design mouth protectors for people who tend to grind their teeth at night.
Do you need one?
Contrary to what people think, mouthguards are not limited to athletes who play contact sports like basketball, hockey, or soccer. They wear them to protect their teeth from impacts during vigorous activity. These devices also offer some level of protection to their lips and tongue, thereby reducing injury. Gymnasts, skateboarders, bikers, and hikers wear them too. People with bruxism (teeth grinding) also wear these devices to prevent damage to their teeth.
Mouthguard care tips
Clean your mouthguard with a toothbrush and toothpaste after use. You can also wash it using cold water and soap. Make sure you rinse it thoroughly afterwards.
Mouth protectors come with storage containers. Keep them there until your next use. Dry the device before storing.
Do not expose it to anything that’s hot, even direct sunlight, to avoid unwanted distortion.
Examine the mouthguard for signs of deterioration. Have it inspected by your dentist every time you go for a dental appointment.