Custom Mouth Guards
Custom Night Guards and Sports Guards
Many of our clients find that mouth guards are useful in helping to keep from grinding their teeth, particularly at night. CORE dental care specializes in helping our patients get the right mouth guard for their individual needs.
Mouth guards, as the name implies are simply a covering that are worn over the teeth to prevent injury. Mouth guards gained popularity in sports where athletes wanted to protect their teeth not only from grinding but also from various injury. However, mouth guards are also extremely useful for some people who have a tendency to grind their teeth at night due to stress, etc. There are basically three types of mouth guards:
- Over the counter, stock, pre-formed mouth guards. These are the least expensive mouth guards and can be found at most sporting goods stores, drug stores, and even department stores. Since they come pre-formed out of the box, there is not much (if anything at all) that can be done to customize them to a patient’s mouth. They can be bulky and make both talking and breathing difficult. They can also cause changes in your teeth or bite that is costly and time-consuming to correct. Dentists do not recommend their use.
- Boil and bite. These mouth guards can also be purchased at most stores and simply offer a little bit of customization. They are commonly made of a thermoplastic and when you buy one, you put it in hot water to soften up the material. You then put it in your mouth and use pressure from your fingers and tongue to shape it around your teeth. You can get a better fit from these guards, but it is far from perfect most of the time.
- Custom-fit mouth guards are designed for each specific individual. They are generally made in a lab or in your dental office and are fabricated based on measurements and instructions taken by the dentist. An impression of your teeth is taken and then the mouth guard is custom made to fit your teeth. It takes extra time, work, and expertise, but a result is an appliance that conforms to your individual mouth and provides the highest level of comfort and protection.
As a general rule, mouth guards are made for either upper or lower teeth, not typically both arches. If you are a person that snores or grinds your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about options that can both reduce your snoring and protect your teeth from further damage caused by grinding.
Your mouth guard should be easy to clean and comfortable to wear. You will want to store it in a hard plastic container when not in use to keep it clean and also to prevent damage. Use a mild soap and water to clean your mouth guard and remember to bring it with you to each scheduled dental visit so that it can be evaluated and adjusted by your dentist as needed.