Choosing Mouthguards: The Complete Guide

Some people require mouthguards. Their primary mission is to protect the mouth, as their name suggests. But just like every mouth and person is different, so are mouthguards, and you can find them in different types for various purposes. 

Suppose you think they’ll help your oral health but are still starting to dip your toes into the options of mouthguards available. In that case, Seraderian Dental Group takes you through them, from our years of experience, to ensure you get what you need exactly. Let’s dive into it.

Do You Need Mouthguards?

Mouthguards help with dental issues like teeth grinding, or are an added protection for those who play contact or fall-risk sports. Although they are meant to help guard your teeth, gums, tongue, and other parts of your mouth, in some cases, they could cause more harm than good if they are the wrong type.

To avoid that, you should always consult a dental care professional first. If you are dealing with issues like bruxism (teeth grinding) or just want extra protection, they will recommend the most appropriate solution for your particular case based on the following categories, which you can also keep in mind when making that decision:

The Purpose

Mouthguards are essential for the two purposes we mentioned: correcting teeth problems or protecting the mouth from high-impact risk activities. On that note, these can be classified in the following way:

Night guards: They’re custom-fitting mouthguards used while sleeping to prevent the patient from grinding their teeth at night.

Sports guards: These are made specifically for playing sports and don’t necessarily require to be custom-fitted.

The Fit

Mouthguards can be made into the perfect fit for your teeth, but only when prescribed by a dentist. This is generally when dealing with teeth grinding. If you play sports and want to wear guards, they’re primarily available as over-the-counter options that offer different fits for the mouth:

  • Stock: Although these come in small, medium, and large sizes, they won’t be an exact match which is why they only serve as temporary protection for playing sports rather than a long-time fix. You can’t rely on them for correcting dental issues or wearing them for an extended period. They can be found in drug and sporting goods stores.
  • Boil-and-bite: This type of mouthguard is still an over-the-counter option but can be fitted through the method their name suggests: boiling them until softened, then placed in the front of the teeth and biting and shaping them until they are adjusted. Although you can get it at drugstores, you must consult your dentist first if you have orthodontic treatment. They’re also not suitable for fixing teeth-grinding problems.

While over-the-counter options can be convenient, feeling comfortable is always a number 1 priority so you can speak and breathe freely. At Seraderian Dental Group, we can make custom night and sports guards. You can also consult with us or your dental care professional for this option.

The Hardness

If you are struggling with bruxism instead and are getting custom night guards, the next step would be to figure out the mouthguards’ hardness. There is soft or hard. 

Each has its pros and cons, so once again, it would be best to consult with your dentist first so they can suggest the one that fits your requirements better. Still, staying informed of your options is always important:

  • Soft night guard: Rubber gives them their “soft trait” as it is flexible. Soft night guards are made from this material and are better for people with mild grinding issues. Although these may encourage chewing or clenching for some patients and last less than harder ones, they are more affordable and comfortable to wear.
  • Hard night guard: On the other hand, you have hard night guards made out of hard acrylic, which doesn’t bend and is very resistant. It will help those with severe bruxism since they hold better, granting them a longer lifespan. However, keep in mind that they can be uncomfortable for some and have a higher price point.

The Conclusion

In the end, having plenty of options ensures there is the right one for you. Our biggest advice is always to ask a professional first to get that personalized solution everyone needs and deserves. 

You can get that custom solution or further advice about mouthguards with Seraderian Dental Group. Get the ideal treatment from certified professionals at our Belmont clinic, or contact us today!

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