Imagine you lost one or more of your front teeth. Smiling, talking, eating and everything else will
suddenly be affected. Your confidence level as well as self-esteem will most likely drop.
This post aims to educate you on ways to prevent injuries to your mouth especially if you
participate in organized sports or other recreational activities.
With this being said, your next question is “so how can I prevent injuries to my mouth?” The answer
lies in using a mouthguard.
What Is MouthGuard?
A mouthguard is a protective dental device that covers the teeth and gum and prevents or reduces
injuries to the teeth, arches, tongue, gum, and lips.
Other names for a mouth guard are; mouthpiece, gum protector, mouth protector, gum guard, night
guard, bite plane, occlusal splint, or bite splint.
Do I Need A Mouthguard?
You need a mouth guard if;
- You participate in non-contact sports or activities with a high-risk fall, like ice skating, biking
- Grinding your teeth when sleeping is a habit. This condition is known as Bruxism.
- You play contact sports like football, basketball, etc.
Why Should I Wear A Mouthguard?
When it comes to protecting your mouth and associated structures, a mouth guard is an essential piece
of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age.
While collision and contact sports such as boxing, wrestling, etc are higher-risk sports for the mouth,
any athlete may experience a dental injury in non-contact sports like skating, gymnastics, etc.
Talk to your Dentist about selecting a mouthguard that will provide the proper protection. Although
some mouthguards only cover the upper teeth, your Dentist may suggest that you use a mouthguard
on the lower teeth as well.
What are The Types Of Mouthguards?
There are two major categories of mouthguards appliances that serve different purposes.
We have those made to protect the mouth from trauma during sporting activities and those made for
patients with bruxism or teeth grinding.
● Stock: These one-size-fits-all mouthguards devices come preformed and ready to wear. They
aren’t specifically made for your teeth, so they rarely fit well. Their poor fit and business can
make breathing difficult. Stock mouthguards devices offer the least protection compared to
● Custom-fitted: Your Dentist will use an impression or mold of your teeth to custom-make a
mouthguard device that comfortably fits your teeth and mouth. Custom-made mouth
protectors provide the best fit and protection but cost more. A custom-made mouthguard will
cater specifically to your needs. Whether you grind your teeth or for protection from trauma
during athletic competition.
● Boil-and-bite: These mouth guards are a thermoplastic material that you can shape
yourself at home to fit your teeth. You melt the mouth protector by placing it in hot (not
boiling) water. Then you put the softened mouthpiece into your mouth, using your fingers to
press it onto the right teeth and molars. When the mouthguard feels like it’s in the right place,
you bite down for a few seconds. Remove the device and run it under cold water. These steps
can always be repeated to reshape the mouthguard for the best fit.
● Adjustable over-the-counter mouthguards: these are night guards consisting of pieces that
slide between your teeth while you sleep.
What Are The Benefits of Wearing A Mouthguard?
It prevents soft tissue damage to your lips, gum, tongue, and inside cheeks.
Also, it prevents the loss of a tooth or chipped tooth as well as nerve damage to your tooth.
How Long Will My Mouthguard Last?
Depending on how frequently you use your mouthpiece and how much “wear and tear” it
accommodates, custom-made mouthguards can last several years when taken proper care of.
However, you should bring the mouthpiece to your dental examinations so your Dentist can inspect it
for cracks or other signs of wear and tear.
Over-the-counter mouthpieces aren’t as durable. You may need to replace them more frequently.
Also, children and teenagers may need to replace their mouthguards more often as their teeth and
How Do I Care For My Mouthguard?
Mouthguards when worn can pick up bacteria from your mouth. Ensure to clean your teeth very well
before putting a mouthguard on.
Firstly, you should rinse your mouth guard in cold water and use a toothbrush and soapy water to
clean it after each use. Air dry it afterward.
Secondly, keep your mouthpiece in a sturdy, vented plastic case when not in use. Store out of the
reach of dogs and other household pets.
Finally, do not expose your mouthpiece to extreme heat such as boiling water or direct sunlight as
heat can melt it and change its shape.
In this blog post, you’ve seen what mouthguards are and their magnificent benefits. If you haven’t lost
a tooth yet or even if you have, it’s not too late to change the status quo. Remember, your teeth are
part of your aesthetics!