Mouthguards might seem like a slightly icky subject, and maybe just a little bit boring. In fact, your family dentist in Ankeny, IA, could tell you that mouthguards are very important, and that they come in many shapes and sizes, to protect teeth from a variety of problems. Who needs the excitement of a tooth being knocked out in a vigorous soccer game? Or the thrill of sleepless nights due to a partner’s tossing, turning and snoring? A properly fitted mouthguard can protect your teeth, and prevent many dental problems before they occur.
Sports and Mouthguards
When most people think mouthguards, they think sports and injury protection when there might be a blow to the face. Obviously this includes sports like basketball, football and boxing, but also sports like mountain biking, where ther is risk of biting your own tongue, jarring the teeth, or falling on a hard surface. Over-the-counter boil-and-bite options are better than no protection at all, but they cannot provide the fit and comfort of a mouthguard specially molded to individual specifications
Bruxism and Mouthguards
Bruxism (also called night time teeth grinding) is an unconscious habit of gritting, grinding and rubbing teeth together at night. Since in happens during sleep, sometimes the first sign is when a dentist notices unusual wear on the back teeth. Bruxism should be taken seriously, as it can cause small cracks in tooth surfaces, that serve as avenues of entry for bacteria and decay. A custom-fitted mouthguard, worn at night, is one facet of a lifelong solution to damage from bruxism.
Caring for a Mouthguard
Whatever the reason, if your family dentist has created a mouthguard for you, then proper care will help it last a long time. You will be given care instructions for your specific situation, but some general guidelines include:
- Be sure to wear the mouthguard as instructed. It can’t do its job if it isn’t in place.
- Store your mouthguard in its case between wearing. Do not wrap it in a napkin or place it in a pocket.
- Wash your mouthguard with cool water, and dry it completely between wearings. You may wish to brush it with a toothbrush, if instructed by your dentist.
- If mouthguard fit changes, inform your dentist so adjustments can be made.
- Don’t lend your mouthguard, or borrow one from someone else.
Need More Mouthguard Facts? We Have Them!
Mouthguards can benefit dental patients for a variety of reasons. To learn more, schedule a dental checkup in Ankeny, IA by contacting Dental Impressions to schedule a visit at (515) 965-0230.