Posts for tag: mouthguard
A night guard is a slightly flexible tray made of pliable plastic that fits either on the top or bottom jaw, over your teeth. The purpose of a night guard is to protect the teeth and jaws from wear due to habits such as grinding and clenching while sleeping. Grinding is when the top and bottom teeth rub together. Clenching is when force is applied from the jaws to press the teeth together, like a firm bite. Both habits can be subconscious and are a form of a sleep motion disorder.
How Does a Night Guard Help?
The night guard, if worn correctly and consistently, prevents wear on the biting surfaces of the teeth from tooth on tooth contact at night. The guard absorbs the forces from the jaws and acts as a cushion. While wearing a night guard, the force of the jaw is evenly distributed throughout the jaw and teeth. There are several different types of night guards to choose from, depending on your needs and what will work best for you. Some are thin or thick, some can be worn on the top teeth or the bottom teeth. It is important to talk with your dentist about what type of night guard will work best for you.
- Try to wear your night guard every night. It can only protect your teeth if you are wearing it
- It can be a difficult adjustment to start wearing a night guard. Give it a couple of weeks, and you will start feeling comfortable with it
- Inspect your night guard periodically for chips and cracks. If there are any, the night guard may need to be replaced as it might not be working as efficiently
- Clean your night guard every day with a separate toothbrush and some warm water. Never use hot water on your night guard as it may warp the plastic
- You night guard should fit snug on your teeth. If it feels loose or too tight/uncomfortable, it may need to be adjusted
If you believe you may be clenching or grinding your teeth and would benefit from a night guard, or have any questions about night guards. We encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.
What Are Sports Guards?
Sports guards are protective appliances worn over the upper teeth to help prevent injury. They absorb the shock of a blow and distribute the force evenly, making it less likely for damage to teeth and oral tissues to occur. They may also help to prevent concussions, but more research is needed in this area.
Who Should Wear A Sports Guard?
People of all ages, whether they are skilled athletes or amateurs, can benefit from wearing a sports guard if participating in any sport or activity that poses a risk of injury. Most people can agree that contact sports can lead to injuries, but other sports such as skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding and BMX biking can also be dangerous. Weightlifters may also be at risk of injuring their teeth and jaws from clenching their teeth very hard while lifting.
Some sports associations have made sports guards mandatory, mostly in minor leagues. In Canada, the only professional sport that requires their use is boxing.
Types of Sports Guards
Prefabricated or stock sports guards are the most inexpensive option, but also the bulkiest and poor-fitting. They are one size fits all.
"Boil and bite" sports guards are made from a plastic material that softens in boiling water and then adapts to the teeth. This type may also be difficult to get a good fit.
Custom-fit sports guards are made at a dental office. Impressions are taken of the teeth and molds are made. Then a thermoplastic material is vacuum formed over the molds to ensure a perfect fit. Since these are the best fitting, compliance with wearing a custom sports guard tends to be better. They are comfortable, easy to wear and are available in a variety of colors.
Caring For Your Sports Guard
If not cared for properly, sports guards may begin to grow mold and bacteria. After use, rinse with water to remove saliva, then brush with a toothbrush or denture brush and a mild soap. Make sure to allow to completely air dry before sealing it in its case. Try to avoid cleaning it with hot water, as this could cause the plastic to warp.
Your sports guard will need to be replaced every 2 or 3 years or when not fitting properly, worn out or broken.
Dental professionals see the results of sports injuries on a regular basis. Wearing a sports guard can prevent the loss or breaking of teeth and prevent injury to the mouth and jaws. Tooth loss can result in loss of self-confidence or difficulty speaking or eating. Preventing injuries is safer and more cost-effective. If you play sports, please consider wearing a sports guard.
If you need a custom-made sportsguard or mouthguard, call us at 905-286-1569 to schedule your appointment.
If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”
What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.
You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.
Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.
Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.
“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…