Bite guards are a useful appliance that can protect your teeth from structural damage. Bite guards are worn over the teeth and used during sporting activities or at night to prevent teeth grinding. There are three types of bite guards.
A stock bite guard is prefabricated and comes ready to wear. Stock mouth guards can be bought at most sporting goods stores and are relatively inexpensive. However, they can be bulky, hard to adjust, and provide inadequate protection.
A boil and bite mouth guard is also a store-bought product made of thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, and placed in the mouth to be shaped around the teeth. These mouth guards are a better fit than stock guards, but they do not offer durability or supreme comfort.
The third option is a custom-fit, professionally made mouth guard. At Tuttle Crossing Dental Group, we offer custom-made guards to provide a superior fit and the best protection. During an appointment, an impression is made of your teeth and sent to a dental laboratory. There, they use a special plastic material to construct a bite guard that is designed just for you.
Sports guards should be used by children and adults who play sports, especially those that involve contact. This includes basketball, baseball, football, soccer, rugby, and hockey. Patients who participate in gymnastics or recreational activities like skateboarding and BMX can also benefit from a protective sports guard.
A blow to the face and head can have severe consequences for your oral and general health. Use a mouth guard to avoid broken teeth, trauma to the gums, cut lips, and other forms of damage to your oral cavity.
Mouth guards cover the upper teeth. If you have braces or other dental appliances on your lower teeth, Dr. Phillip Elmo may recommend a sports guards to protect these teeth as well.
Other patients may suffer from teeth grinding (bruxism). Bruxism is caused by clenching your teeth, stress and anxiety, and nocturnal disorders. If you suffer from bruxism, you may not be aware of it. Dr. Phillip Elmo may notice the negative effects of bruxism during a dental examination. If your teeth are worn down, he may suggest the use of a night guard.
A night guard can cushion your teeth from the force of involuntary grinding while you sleep. Unlike store bought guards, a custom-made guard can prevent complications with your bite and increase comfort.
Children can also suffer from nocturnal bruxism. Most will outgrow the habit, but a night guard may be recommended depending on the severity of their condition.
Bruxism may lead to future complications with your oral health. Your teeth can fracture, loosen, or wear down, which may lead to dental crowns, bridges, and even prosthetic replacement. Bruxism can also result in TMJ, a painful condition of the jaw.
Along with night guards, you may want to practice techniques to reduce or eliminate the grinding habit. You can train yourself to relax your jaw and avoid clenching. Stress-reducing activities, like counseling or meditation, can also help you break the habit. Avoiding beverages that contain caffeine and alcohol can help prevent nocturnal bruxism.
Contact Us About Bite Guards
If you are interested in receiving a bite guard, call (614) 798-0083, and schedule an appointment today.