Dentist Portland, OR
Many of us encounter situations in our daily lives where we could use some extra protection for our teeth. Athletes and boxers who are involved with contact sports heavily rely on them to provide an extra layer of protection and support to their teeth and gums. Severe cases of bruxism (teeth grinding) can also force some people to wear mouthguards at night time.
If you are interested in learning more about mouthguards and whether or not you are a candidate for one, we would be more than happy to have you come in for a consultation with us here at Portland City Dental. Our highly trained staff has experience working with both professional athletes and patients with severe cases of bruxism so you can expect to get the best treatment at our practice.
What Are Mouthguards And What Do They Do?
Mouthguards are dental devices made to cover and provide protection to your teeth from trauma. They are made in a way so that your gums, cheeks, and tongue are protected as well during close contact sports activities. For people who unconsciously grind their teeth, a mouthguard eliminates contact between their upper and lower teeth.
Restoring damaged or missing teeth is not only a costly procedure but it can also affect your natural smile and facial appearance. Blunt force trauma experienced during athletics activities can chip, loosen, or damage teeth and other parts of the mouth severely which is why athletes are always advised to wear mouthguards.
Types of Mouthguards
Mouthguards come in three main types: stock, custom-fitted, and boil and bite. They all differ in many ways but mostly due to the fact that they provide a different level of ease and comfort while wearing. Over-the-counter mouthguards or stock mouth protectors are inexpensive and can be bought at most department stores and sporting equipment stores. There could be a lot of trial and error involved with them as they are bulky and can cause difficulty in breathing if they do not fit the wearer’s mouth properly.
Boil and bite protectors can also be bought at most departmental stores but offer a better fit and protection compared to stock mouthguards. Made from thermoplastic material, these need to be placed in hot water before you can wear them. The hot water makes them soft so they can adjust to the shape of your teeth and mouth when pressed with a finger.
Last but not least, custom-fitted mouthguards provide the highest level of protection and are typically made in a laboratory after the dentist takes an impression of your mouth. Special materials are used when making these protectors so they can fit your mouth as closely as possible. They tend to cost a little more due to the manufacturing process involved.
Do I Need A Mouthguard?
Adults and children who participate in close contact sports such as soccer, lacrosse, hockey, or basketball should always use mouthguards to protect from possible injury to the mouth. Even some non-contact sports such as skating or gymnastics can pose a risk of injury to the mouth, so participants must consider wearing mouth protectors to avoid possible accidents. Finally, people who clench their teeth during sleep are also advised to wear mouthguards to avoid damage to the teeth caused by constant grinding.
If you want to learn more about how mouthguards work and what their benefits are, we would love to have you come in and see us here at Portland City Dental. Our highly trained staff can also help develop an impression of your mouth if you are looking to build a custom mouthguard. We also schedule appointments over the phone so feel free to reach us at (503) 256-7917.