What is a Mouth Guard?

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Mouth GuardHave you ever had the unfortunate experience of having a tooth knocked loose or totally knocked out of your mouth during a fight, playing around with friends or while participating in some form of sport? A missing tooth, especially if it’s one of those in the front, is certainly a spoiler. Mouth guards were designed to help protect the teeth and ultimately your smile. They protect your teeth from potential trauma by buffering the impact that could damage them.

According to Yourdentistryguide.com, a mouth guard or mouth protector is a, “flexible custom fitted device worn over teeth during athletic and recreational activities to protect them from damage.” We ought to point out here that aside from those who want to protect their smile, mouth guards are also beneficial to those who wear braces or have fixed anterior bridgework. This means they protect not just your teeth from physical trauma, but also your braces or any other fixed appliances that you may have had done. Dental work is expensive, so it makes sense to protect them the best way you can, and mouth guards are pretty inexpensive items that helps you do just that.

Comfort, safety and durability are three factors that must be taken into consideration when purchasing a mouth guard. One notable source for finding quality mouth guards that are totally recommended by other satisfied users is Amazon.com. Customers enjoy purchasing from reputable companies such as ProDental who is known for their BPA free mouth guard.

Should You Really Wear a Mouth Guard?

Once you value your teeth and your smile, you should wear a mouth guard. This is especially true for those who are active and usually are engaged in some form of physical sport. As a matter of fact, the U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association has made it a requirement for individuals participating in several sports. These events include ice hockey, field hockey, lacrosse and football.

The American Dental Association recommend that this requirement be extended to other sporting disciplines, which include, gymnastics, boxing, basketball, wrestling, skateboarding, surfing, squash and volley ball to name a few. It is not hard to see why the dental association would like to see these sporting disciplines included, as they are all contact sports. For people who wear knee guards, helmets and other protective gears to protect specific parts of the body from damage, it only makes sense for the teeth to be afforded the same level of protection. The damaging blow could come from another player, a hard surface or a ball. There’s just no telling when, and from where such a blow could come.

Types of Mouth Guards

Mouth guards are available in three common varieties, and these are:

1. Ready Made or Stock Mouth Guard

This type of mouth guard is available in pre-formed shapes and different sizes. They are the least expensive and may be made from polyvinyl or rubber. Because they are ready-made this type of mouth guard is a one-size-fit-all type of solution which may not be comfortable to wear and cannot be modified.

2. Bite and Boil Mouth Protectors

These types of mouth guards are placed in the mouth where they are then shaped around the teeth using your finger, tongue and bite pressure. They come in two forms, shell liner or boil-and-bite. Shell liner mouth guards are lined with rubber or acrylic gel that will mold to the teeth and take its shape as it sets. Boil-and-bite mouth guards are made from thermoplastic and are placed in boiling water where they soften before being placed in the mouth where the lips, fingers, tongue and biting pressure are used to mold it to the contours of the teeth. These can be reheated and refitted if the initial fit is not comfortable enough. The mouth guard such as that offered by ProDental falls into this category. Aside from comfort and effectiveness, the affordability of these forms of mouth guards make them a great buy.

3. Custom Fitted Mouth Guard

Custom mouth guards are the fitted type of mouth guard which is individually designed and primarily made in dental offices and in professional dental laboratories. The dentist will examine your teeth then use a moldable material to get an impression of the teeth after which they mold the mouth guard to a suitable fit for your mouth. These are the most expensive of the three types of mouth guards.

A good mouth guard will be durable and very easy to clean. It must also be resistant to breakage and comfortable to be used. Most importantly, your mouth guard should not restrict your speech and breathing activity, but should provide you with ease and convenience while protecting your mouth.

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