You may have seen athletes wearing helmets and pads on their knees and elbows for protection during their games. But they also have mouthguards on especially if their sports would eventually pose accidental bumps and hits to the face and mouth. Using a mouth guard is not only for athletes, but even regular people can also have their own. So let us find out the different kinds of mouthguards and tips and steps in using and cleaning mouth guard. You can get additional care and cleaning suggestions from a clinic making mouth guards in Sydney, and you can also visit your trusted dental provider for more info.
Kinds of mouthguards
You can use mouthguards for sports, but it can also be used to prevent medical conditions like sleep apnea, bruxism (teeth grinding), and snoring. Here are some of the most common types of mouthguards.
Stock mouthguard. This is the most generic guards you can get. They are sized in a standard form and are readily available in pharmacies, department stores, and other sporting goods shops. They may be decent if you are just wearing them on a temporary basis, like when you have a game and you forgot to bring your regular mouthguard. But because these kinds are not fitted exactly the same way as your teeth alignment and bite, prolonged usage may be more disadvantageous than it is beneficial. They can cause problems with your speech, breathing, and comfort.
Boil and bite mouthguard. This is a bit more customized compared to the regular mouthpieces. This type is utilized by first dipping it in hot water to soften its material then placing it in the mouth. The user should bite into it so the material will mold into his teeth while it is still soft. The result is a quite fitted thermoplastic mouthpiece that can protect your teeth and tongue from accidents and injuries involving the mouth.
Custom mouthguard. This type is what dentists and dental professionals would offer you. Your dentist will acquire impressions and molds of your whole dental cavity, and he will send these to a dental technician who will fabricate the mouthguard according to your specifications. This type will give you the best fit and protection among the three types, and it is the most expensive type as well because your dentist made it for you and the material used in this type is different from the once you can readily buy over-the-counter.
Steps in cleaning mouth guard
Effectively cleaning a mouth guard is important because this is an appliance that is closest to your teeth, gums, and all other structures of your dental cavity. Not being able to maintain its cleanliness and appearance can cause problems with the integrity and function of your mouth, such that you can acquire infections and lesions due to this.
Here are some steps that we can share with you in cleaning your mouthguards:
- Clean your mouthguard using cold water with a small amount of mouthwash before and after each use or clean it with mild soap and a toothbrush. Your toothbrush and the brush you will use in cleaning a mouthguard should be different to avoid contamination.
- You can also wash the mouthguard with cool, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly.
- Place the mouth guard in a firm, perforated container to store or transport it. This permits airflow and movement and helps to prevent damage. If the mouth guard is acrylic, keep it in fresh clean water.
- Care for the mouthguard by avoiding exposure to elevated temperatures, such as hot water, hot surfaces, or even direct sunlight, so as to minimize deforming its shape.
- Occasionally check the mouth guard for general wear and tear. The average lifespan of a mouthguard lasts for 3 to 5 years. It is either it already served its purpose in your mouth and already obtained irreparable damages, or that he is not participating in any more contact sports or extreme games, so wearing it is not necessary anymore. If you find holes or tears in it or if it becomes loose or causes discomfort, replace it.
- Bring the mouthguard to each regularly scheduled dental visit to have your dentist exam it.