Just as you need a helmet when riding a motorcycle, your teeth need protection whether you’re an athlete or grinding at night. We offer high quality mouth guards, suitable for any high intensity sport, or if you need a little something to protect your teeth when sleeping.
Sports Guards and Night guards
For both children and adults, an athletic mouth guard, sometimes called a sports guard, should be considered an essential piece of protective equipment for many sports. The primary purpose of a mouth guard during sports is to cushion and absorb the impact of facial injuries. This can prevent serious injuries that can often lead to a lifetime of oral health problems. Dr. Cho has personally witnessed and helped with sports injuries that could have been prevented with a proper sports guard. Our athletic mouth guards are custom made with a lightweight material that is comfortable, effective, and doesn’t interfere with breathing.
Night guards serve the same purpose as a sports guard. They are worn at night to prevent damage from any unconscious nighttime grinding and clenching. Many people, Dr. Cho included, suffer from this unconscious grinding and most are unaware they are doing it. This disorder is called bruxism and if untreated, it can lead to teeth fractures, changes in the bite, worn down teeth, and pain.
What types of dental mouth guards are there?
Both athletic mouth guards and night guards come in three types.
- Stock mouth guards that are ready for immediate use. Bought over the counter, this type of mouth guard is generally inexpensive. Unfortunately, this type of mouth guard cannot be adjusted, have an uncomfortable bite, and are usually bulky. This guard type also provides minimal protection.
- Boil and bite mouth guards are also bought over the counter. They offer a better customized fit than stock mouth guards. This type requires you to place in hot water and then bite to shape around the teeth.
- Custom fitted mouth guards provide the best fit and comfort. Crafted exclusively for you, these mouth guards are typically made in a dental office and provide the most comfort and protection. Although all guards interfere with talking and breathing, this type of mouth guard interferes the least. Additionally, custom night guards are specially fitted so that the bite is even and stays in the mouth the best.
What health issues do dental mouths guards prevent?
Mouth guards are designed to protect the teeth from blunt forces, whether or not that comes from a foul ball or from unconscious grinding. A sports guard protects the teeth when clenching during stressful sports. Additionally they protect the teeth by absorbing and cushioning the force which protects against injuries to the soft tissues and prevents jaw and teeth fractures. They also protect against concussions which is rampant in several sports including football.
Night guards protect your teeth against unconscious nighttime grinding called bruxism. Night guards protect the teeth from grinding into each other and distributes the bite force over all the teeth similar to how safety helmets protect your head against a fall. This protects the teeth against fractures, rapid wear that makes the teeth more susceptible to cavities and can stabilize the TMJ when grinding which can lead to chronic pain. It also protects dental implants as they will fail because they are more susceptible to bite trauma.