Mouth Guards are Provided at Bella Vista Smiles
There are many reasons why mouth guards can benefit the health of your smile. Mouth guards provide protection from full contact sports and teeth grinding. Mouth guards are also effective at protecting cosmetic enhancements you invest in. Dr. Rubina Khorana of Bella Vista Smiles and her team of experts can consult you on the best type of mouth guard for your situation. The following information details the different types of mouth guards and how they can help.
Sports guards or athletic mouth protectors, are crucial pieces of equipment for any child participating in potentially injurious recreational or sporting activities. Fitting snugly over the upper teeth, mouth guards protect the entire oral region from traumatic injury, preserving both the esthetic appearance and the health of the smile. In addition, mouth guards are sometimes used to prevent tooth damage in children who grind (brux) their teeth at night.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) in particular, advocates for the use of dental mouth guards during any sporting or recreational activity. Most store-bought mouth guards cost fewer than ten dollars, making them a perfect investment for every parent.
How can Sports Guards Protect Me?
The majority of sporting organizations now require participants to routinely wear mouth guards. Though mouth guards are primarily designed to protect the teeth, they can also vastly reduce the degree of force transmitted from a trauma impact point (jaw) to the central nervous system (base of the brain). In this way, mouth guards help minimize the risk of traumatic brain injury, which is especially important for younger children.
Mouth guards also reduce the prevalence of the following injuries:
What Type of Mouth Guard Should I Purchase?
Though there are literally thousands of mouth guard brands, most brands fall into three major categories: stock mouth guards, boil and bite mouth guards, and customized mouth guards.
Some points to consider when choosing a sports guard include:
How much money is available to spend?
How often does the child play sports?
What kind of sport does the child play? (Basketball and baseball tend to cause the most oral injuries)
Mouth Guards for Bruxism - Also Known as Teeth Grinding
There is no single cure for bruxism, yet mouth guards can provide adequate protection against teeth grinding.
What are the Different Types of Mouth Guards?
Stock mouth guards – These mouth guards can be bought directly off the shelf and immediately fitted into the child’s mouth. The fit is universal (one-size-fits-all), meaning that that the mouth guard doesn’t adjust. Stock mouth guards are very cheap, easy to fit, and quick to locate at sporting goods stores. Pediatric dentists favor this type of mouth guard least, as it provides minimal protection, obstructs proper breathing and speaking, and tends to be uncomfortable.
Boil and bite mouth guards – These mouth guards are usually made from thermoplastic and are easily located at most sporting goods stores. First, the thermoplastic must be immersed in hot water to make it pliable, and then it must be pressed on the child’s teeth to create a custom mold. Boil and bite mouth guards are slightly more expensive than stock mouth guards, but tend to offer more protection, feel more comfortable in the mouth, and allow for easy speech production and breathing.
Customized mouth guards – These mouth guards offer the greatest degree of protection, and are custom-made by the dentist. First, the dentist makes an impression of the child’s teeth using special material, and then the mouth guard is constructed over the mold. Customized mouth guards are more expensive and take longer to fit, but are more comfortable, orthodontically correct, and fully approved by the dentist.
If you have questions or concerns about choosing a mouth guard, please contact our friendly staff at Bella Vista Smiles.