Types of Mouth Guards

Posted on: November 20, 2017

Many people need to wear mouth guards. However, they come in different styles. If you need a mouthguard, there are a few things that you should know. Learn about all the different types of mouth guards and what they can do to keep your smile beautiful.

What is a Mouthguard?

A mouth guard is a protective covering that you wear over your teeth. Although there are other reasons for wearing mouth guards, the most common reason is protection. When you play a sport, your mouth guard can prevent your teeth from experiencing damage. This protection is especially useful in contact sports that often result in broken or chipped teeth.The mouth guard has not been around forever. It first came about in 1890. After noticing that boxers commonly cut their lips while boxing, a London dentists invented the gum shield. With the help of his son, the dentist came up with a refined design that many boxers started using. In 1927, they became popular amongst most boxers.At first, the mouth guard was not very comfortable. However, that soon changed. In 1947, a dentist changed the material of the mouth guard. He came up with a technique to mold the guard over the upper and lower teeth. As a result, it was less noticeable and much more comfortable. Athletes in other sports started wearing mouth guards. By the 1950s, the American Dental Association started researching mouth guards. They began to speak to the public about the benefits of using them. As of 1962, a mouth guard was necessary for every high school football player in the US. In 1973, the NCAA also made the mouth guard a necessity for players.When mouth guards became popular, dental injuries became less frequent. Prior to the invention and popularity of the mouth guard, sports were dangerous. They could result in lip lacerations, chipped teeth, and knocked out teeth. However, the mouth guard made dental injuries less common. It gave every athlete a chance to protect his or her mouth from injury.

Types of Mouth Guards

When you shop for a mouth guard, you will come across a few different types.

1. Boil and Bite Mouth guard

This type of mouth guard is often found at sporting good stores.As far as price goes, this mouth guard is not expensive. Although they are not completely customized, they do fit your mouth better than a standard mouth guard. To fit them to your mouth, you boil water and sit the mouth guard in the water for some time. The mouth guard is thermoplastic, which allows it to soften in the hot water. Once it is soft, you can place the mouth guard in your mouth and mold it to your teeth. Then, you place it in cool water and allow it to completely cool. All boil and bite mouth guards come with clear directions that explain the process.With this type of mouth protection, you get a somewhat custom fit. The mouth guard is usually comfortable and does not fall out easily. Most importantly, they provide a decent level of protection.

2. Stock Mouth Guard

This type of mouth guard is also found at sporting good stores. It’s also one of the cheapest types of mouth protection that you can buy. However, that doesn’t mean that this type is the best option. Stock guards differ from boil and bite mouth guards in that they don’t fit to your mouth. Instead, they come in a generic size. As a result, they don’t fit well in your mouth. Often, they are bulky and fall out easily. You might have a hard time breathing with a stock guard in your mouth. If protection is your goal, these guards fail. Dentists do not recommend that individuals use stock guards for protection.

3. Custom Mouth Guard

There is a third option for mouth protection, and it provides the highest level of protection. With a custom mouth guard, you can keep your mouth as safe as possible. For this type of guard, you need to visit a dentist. He needs to take a mold of your teeth. From that mold, he can create a mouth guard that fits over your teeth. Instead of using a generic material for the guard, he uses a special material. Although the material is expensive, it provides better protection for your teeth and gives you more comfort. It comes at a relatively high cost, but a custom mouth guard could save you thousands of dollars in dental repair work.If you need a mouth guard for your lower teeth, then you need a custom mouth guard. You can’t find this type of guard in stores. To get a mouth guard for your lower teeth, your dentist molds your lower teeth and creates the guard with that mold. Your dentist could also create a custom guard for issues like teeth grinding and TMJ.

Choosing One

When you choose a mouth guard, safety and comfort should be your top priorities. For that reason, a custom guard is the way to go. Contact your dentist to learn more.