Chipped or missing teeth can ruin your smile or alter the effectiveness of your mouth in chewing or talking. Although you can replace a missing tooth or correct your smile with cosmetic dentistry, a custom mouthguard could save you the pain of losing a tooth.
A mouthguard also helps in managing teeth grinding and correcting conditions such as Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. However, only a custom mouthguard can provide you with full protection. Read on to understand how Palmetto Dental Arts, can help you get a custom mouthguard for better oral health.
What is a Mouthguard?
A mouthguard is a protective dental tool that covers your teeth. Once you wear it, it protects your teeth, gum, tongue, and cheek from trauma caused by tooth grinding. A mouthguard can also be used to treat other oral conditions such as TMJ.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three types of mouthguards. These include ready-made mouthguards, boil and bite mouthguards, and custom mouthguards.
The ready-made mouthguard is available to people who prefer over-the-counter purchases. Over-the-counter mouthguards provide some level of protection for people at risk of damaging their teeth. However, these kinds of mouthguards may not fit well in the mouth, which means they are not efficient. If you already have one and igt hasn't been serving you well, you might need to try another type.
The boil and bite is an adjustable thermoplastic mouthguard that provides better protection than the ready-made one. Like the name goes, the mouthguard is softened by placing it in hot water. The soft matter is then pressed against the teeth to take the shape of the teeth and the gum.
What is a Custom Mouthguard?
A custom mouthguard is prepared by a dentist to give you an exact fit that enhances the level of protection. The custom-fit mouthguard may cost more than the other two but offers you the best protection. It can be used by people who grind their teeth at night or suffer from dental conditions that may increase the risk of tooth damage.
At the Palmetto Dental Arts, a dentist will use digital technology to take the image and measurement of teeth and gums. The dentist uses digital impressions to create a perfectly fitting mouth guard in a lab setting. Once done, the dentist fits the mouthguard in your mouth to protect your teeth and gums.
How does a Mouthguard Enhance Oral Health?
Protecting Your Teeth from Injuries
The main function of a mouthguard is to protect your teeth against trauma. Mouthguards cushion your teeth against impacts that could loosen, knock out, or crack your teeth. If you are hit around the oral cavity, the loosened teeth may fall off, leaving unattractive gaps. Cracks on the teeth increase the risk of developing tooth cavities.
Mouthguards also protect the cheek lining, gums, and tongue in case you are hit or slapped on the face.
If you are wearing nighttime clear braces or Invisalign to align your teeth, you may have to wear a mouthguard at night. A custom mouthguard protects the braces or Invisalign against damage that may happen when you sleep. Without the mouthguard, you may have to replace the braces or take longer to align your teeth. However, a custom mouthguard allows you to enjoy your sleep without risking the functionality of nighttime braces or Invisalign.
Shielding Dental Prosthesis
Although dental prostheses such as dental implants work just like your natural teeth, creating a protective layer helps them last longer. A custom mouthguard protects your dental prosthesis from cracks or loosening. With a well-fitting mouthguard, you do not have to worry about your artificial teeth or implants when you sleep. The mouthguard will reduce teeth grinding that may happen at night to enhance the durability of the dental prosthesis.
Bruxism is the grinding of teeth caused by an upset in the balance of your bite. Teeth grinding wears out the tooth enamel, which increases the risk of a cavity. Bruxism can also cause toothaches and migraines. However, a well-fitting custom mouthguard can help in managing the condition by correcting the causes of the teeth grinding.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a dental condition that makes it harder for the patient to open and shut their mouth. Chewing or talking becomes difficult when one suffers from TMJ. However, the conditions that lead to TMJ can be corrected through the use of custom mouthguards.
Sleep Apnea Care
A custom mouthguard can also be used to reposition the jaw and manage sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
Frequent Questions About Custom Mouthguards
How long does it take to get a custom mouthguard?
It takes about seven days to get your custom mouthguard fitted in your mouth. On the first visit, the dentist takes a digital impression of your teeth and gum. You can collect your mouthguard during your second visit, usually on the seventh day after your first visit.
Who should wear a mouthguard?
A mouthguard should be worn by anyone who wants to protect their teeth, gums, and tongue. However, people with higher chances of damaging their teeth such as those who grind their teeth at night should always wear a custom mouthguard at bedtime.
Is the cost of mouth guards covered by insurance?
Some insurance policies will cover part or the entire cost of the mouthguard. However, insurance policies vary from person to person. You should consult your insurance provider to know whether they cover the cost of a mouthguard.
Do I have to clean the mouthguard?
You should use a toothbrush and soapy water to clean your mouthguard after use. After cleaning, dry it and keep it in its sturdy. Do not expose it to extreme heat.
How long does a mouthguard last?
Depending on the frequency of use and how well you care for the mouthguard, it can last for several years.
Mouthguards protect your teeth when you sleep. If you are uncertain of the protection provided by an over-the-counter dental appliance, contact a Palmetto Dental Arts dentist to assist you. Our dentists will examine your needs and recommend what is best for you. In most cases, a custom mouthguard is the best for enhancing your oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.