This is a dental device that is inserted into the mouth to protect the teeth, arches, lips and gums from injuries. Mouthguards are used for a variety of reasons, like:
For prevention of any injury in contact sports like rugby etc.,
For the treatment of conditions like bruxism or TMD or Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
To being part of some dental procedures like tooth bleaching.
Mouthguards are usually used to protect the upper row of teeth but in cases of the patient having braces or other dental appliances, the dentist might recommend mouthguards for the lower row of teeth.
The dentist will evaluate your need and suggest the right type of mouthguard for you. The desirable properties for a mouthguard should be:
Mouthguards are of different types:
These are economical Mouthguards that are performed and can be used right out of their package. These Mouthguards being ready-made and do have the disadvantages of being non-adjustable, bulky and makes breathing and talking difficult and provide lesser protection compared to the other types.
This is also available in stores but these can have a better fit to the mouth and is made of thermoplastic material. This type of Mouthguard is first softened in hot water and then it is placed inside the mouth and is shaped correctly around the teeth using the pressure from both finger and the tongue.
These are designed and fabricated in a dental office or laboratory by a dental technician based on the dentist recommendations. The dentist first takes an impression of the patient’s teeth and then the Mouthguard is molded over this model using the material used for this type of mouthguard. This material is expensive to procure and the process and time involved making this type of mouthguard makes this type of mouthguard costlier. But this customized fabrication makes it more comfortable and provides more protection.
The dentist will recommend the following measure to be followed to take care of the mouthguards: