Mouthguards help cushion blows to the face, protecting the teeth from extensive, irreversible damage. They cover the upper and lower teeth from blunt trauma, often one of the most common causes of tooth loss besides cavities. But how do these products, which seem ineffective, protect the teeth when needed the most? From athletes to patients with bruxism, mouth guards provide protection when needed the most and come in a variety of styles to accommodate everyone’s needs.
Why Do We Need Mouth Guards?
Mouth injuries are some of the most severe injuries to require medical attention because the body’s ability to regenerate bone and muscle tissue doesn’t apply to the teeth. Due to their construction, the teeth and gums often cannot replace the tissues and bones within your mouth. Our mouths are genetically predisposed to remain static in response to drastic changes within the mouth because the stem cells located within our gums die off once a person reaches maturity. These stem cells coordinate and exchange signals throughout the earliest stages of development and often reach a cap stage once the teeth and gums reach full maturity. Even as science attempts to advance our mouths through investments in tooth regeneration, we’re still a long way from reaching this goal.
So, it’s important to care for our teeth for the time being because it’s all we have. Mouthguards thus give those who tend to participate in intense activities the ability to protect their teeth and remove thousands of dollars in costs. Thanks to manufacturing and technology developments, multiple varieties can be used to protect your teeth, depending on what you need:
- Stock Mouth Protectors: As the most frequently used among patients, stock mouth guards are low-cost solutions that provide a general shape and mold to the person’s teeth. While inexpensive and provide decent protection, those who have misaligned teeth or other tooth abnormalities will most like have a difficult time choosing this product due to its one-size-fits-all situation. While remarked as uncomfortable, for those with averagely healthy teeth, these can be an excellent choice.
- Boil and Bite Mouth Guards: Boil and bite mouth guards tend to provide a mild degree of customization due to their boil and bite design. The boiling method softens the guard, and then the biting method helps shape the mold specifically to your teeth. However, the protection they offer is a reasonable degree and costs the least.
- Custom-Made Dental Guards: Custom-made mouthguards are the most costly but provide the most protection due to the high-quality materials they’re made from. The money and time spent on creating these mouth guards result in a light-weight, durable, and long-lasting piece that will allow the user to breathe and speak without trouble.
Do I Need a Mouth Guard?
If you participate in sports, then you may be required to have a mouthguard. For those who take part in athletic sports, any of these guards will provide a significant amount of protection, depending on the level of activity you take part in. However, other conditions may even require mouthguards on a more consistent basis, such as bruxism. Mouthguards are a highly valuable asset for people because mouthguards work in all sorts of situations to protect teeth from life-long damage that can cost people time and money to correct. For people with tooth grinding problems, mouth guards also give them the relief they need from their pain and give them a better smile all around
For patients concerned about protecting their teeth and wish to learn more about mouth guards, they should speak with their dentist or orthodontist for customization mouth guards made to protect their mouth and keep their teeth clean and healthy.