Mouth Guards: A Guide to Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

In normal cases, mouth guards cover the region of your upper teeth, but in some instances, for example, if you use braces or any other rigid dental appliance over your lower jaw, the dentist will also make a mouth guard for the lower teeth. If you ask your dentist, they can also suggest the best mouthguard available for you, according to your particular conditions. 

A mouth guard is considered good if it is comfortable to the mouth, stops the tears, durable and long-lasting, very easy to clean the surface, and is not restricting your breathing or if it does not provide any hindrance to your speech.

Who Needs a Mouth Guard?

Anyone can use mouthguards, whether children or adults, people who play outdoor and active sports such as football, boxing, hockey, basketball, baseball, and rugby. However, even participating in non-contact sports (like gymnastics) and any other recreational activity or an outdoor hobby (like skateboarding, hiking, biking) that might have a slight risk of injury to the mouth is safe if you apply this dental appliance and wear a protective mouth guard helping in the safety of your teeth. 

Adults and children who have a habit of grinding their teeth at night should have this nocturnal bite plate or bite splint especially made to prevent tooth damage.

What Does A Mouth Guard Do?

A dentist may suggest you mouth guard for many reasons. Below we have listed some of the crucial reasons you might need mouth guard:-

  • play contact games like football, cricket, basketball, hockey, and other
  • Snore
  • have obstructive sleep apnea
  • participating in activities with high fall risk, such as gymnastics, biking, and others

What Are The Advantages Of Mouth Guard

Wearing a mouth guard during contact play can help you avoid:-

  • Chipped teeth 
  • Damage to your tooth pulp
  • soft tissue injury to your gums, lips, and inner cheeks

Wearing a mouthguard while sleeping can help you reduce:-

  • Wear & tear from clenching or grinding your teeth 
  • Snoring
  • sleep apnea and related complications, including high blood pressure and daytime fatigue 

Why Use a Mouthguard When Playing Sports?

Physical activity includes contact, which increases the chance of accidents that can happen anytime in outdoor sports, so the importance of a mouth guard comes into play. 

Using this mouth guard while playing any outdoor sports helps limit the injuries related to the mouth and minimize the risk associated with it. 

Hence safeguarding your lips, tongue, jaw, and soft tissues inside your mouth. Mouth guards also help if a person has chipped or broken teeth, has nerve damage, or even has lost a tooth. 

Can an individual wear a Mouthguard if they wear Braces?

Yes, definitely. Since an injury to the face could also damage the braces or any other already fixed dental appliances, a mouth guard that properly fits into your mouth becomes handy and is efficient for people who use braces or have a fixed bridge working in their mouth. 

After examining your case, your dentist can suggest a mouth guard that will protect your particular and individual mouth work. Also, an important note: do not wear any other orthodontic retainers or any removable, non-fixed dental appliances while playing any outdoor sports or during any recreational activities that put your mouth at risk of an injury. 

How Do I Care for My Mouth Guard?

  • Cleanse your mouthguard with cold water and clean your mouth initially and later with each use of it and clean it with a mild soap and a toothbrush.
  • Clean your mouth guard with cool and soapy water, and rinse it thoroughly to remove all the dirt. 
  • Place the mouth guard in a fixed container while not in use or transporting it. This helps in air circulation and prevents any kind of damage to a mouth guard.
  • If the mouth guard is acrylic, fresh and clean water should be used to store it. 
  • To minimize the distortion or change in shape and avoid the mouth guard from direct high temperatures like sunlight, hot water, or any other hot surface. 
  • Check the mouth guard regularly for using it as general wear. If you find any holes in it or it has become loose, causing discomfort, replace it with a new mouthguard. 
  • Regularly examine your mouth guard from your dentist by bringing it together with you in all of your scheduled visits to your dentist.