Do you participate in sports? If so, you may need a custom mouthguard. Custom mouthguards are designed to be protective shields for your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Especially useful for patients who participate in sports, custom mouthguards may also be incorporated into other treatment plans like ones addressing teeth grinding or TMJ disorders. Learn more about the multiple uses of custom mouthguards below.
The Benefits of a Custom Mouthguard
A custom mouthguard from your dentist offers many benefits compared to the store bought kind. Many stores sell boil and bite mouth pieces and the one size fits all, stock mouthguards. However, these provide little protection and will not protect your teeth and gums very well. We suggest wearing the best type of mouthguard to protect your teeth and gums. A custom mouthguard offers many benefits including:
Custom fit: A custom mouthguard is specifically made to fit your mouth. We will take impression of your mouth to ensure it fits perfectly. This will ensure your mouthguard is comfortable and will allow you to speak, breathe, and move your jaw better while wearing it.
Better protection: Our mouth pieces are made of better materials that are thicker. They will absorb and distribute forces from hits to the mouth thus reducing the risk of dental injuries. The custom, snug fit also provides better stability and shock absorption.
Durability and longevity: Since the materials that used to make the custom mouthguards are superior to any store bough kind, they will last longer. High quality materials are more durable and can withstand the demands of sports or night time teeth grinding over a longer period of time.
Better speech and breathing: A custom mouthguard will fit better allowing you to speak and breathe easier. This means you can communicate much easier on the field. It is also more comfortable when you breathe easily.
Meet your dental needs: Your dentist can meet any special dental needs with a custom mouthguard. If you have braces or other dental appliances, we can design your mouthguard without interfering with their function.
Custom Mouthguards in Clinton, NC
Dr. Helmer and Dr. Balzen have created a friendly family and general dentistry in Clinton, NC. She offers custom mouthguards to our patients who play contact sports. Going above and beyond over-the-counter options, custom mouthguards are designed using dental impressions of your own smile to ensure the proper fit and function. Investing in a custom mouthguard now can save you a lot of money and discomfort, later on, especially if you are more at risk for experiencing dental emergencies.
Many sports require the use of a mouthguard in order to participate. The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouthguards for the following sports because of their high risks of dental damage: acrobats, basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, gymnastics, handball, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, soccer, squash, surfing, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling.
TMJ Treatment & Teeth Grinding
Custom mouthguards can also be used to treat bruxism and TMJ disorders. Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, causes a lot of damage to your smile without you even knowing. Dr. Balzen looks for the signs and symptoms of teeth grinding during all preventative dental exams. If you grind your teeth, a custom mouthguard can be worn at night to prevent this repetitive action from causing unwanted dental damage while you sleep.
Custom mouthguards can also help patients with TMJ disorders by relieving pressure on their jaw joints. This is called oral appliance therapy, which is one approach to treating TMJ disorders. Your doctor may recommend oral appliance therapy if your TMJ disorder is caused by frequent jaw clenching to prevent too much pressure from being applied to your jaw joints during times of high stress.
Custom Mouthguard FAQs
Still have more questions about custom mouthguards? Please read through our frequently asked questions section. Our dental office staff can answer any further questions you may have during regular business hours.
How long does a custom mouthguard last?
Depending on use, a mouthguard can last as long as five years. However, that’s usually in rare cases. Particularly if you’re using your mouthguard to protect your teeth during sports, we recommend getting a new mouthguard each year. Your teeth should be protected properly.
How do I clean my mouthguard?
Every time you take it out of your mouth, rinse your mouthguard out with water. This helps deter bacteria buildup. Brush your mouthguard with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. You can also use denture cleaner or mouthwash to soak your guard, depending on the type of mouthguard. Talk to your dentist and determine the best option for your specific case.
Are custom mouthguards worth it?
Absolutely. Mouthguards you get over the counter are one size fits all. They’re not fit specifically for your smile — and every smile is different. You have to clench your teeth to keep the mouthguard in, and you’re not able to communicate with your team properly. Constant teeth clenching also leads to issues with TMJ disorders. Custom mouthguards are more comfortable and you’re able to focus on playing the game.
Can a mouthguard shift your teeth?
A mouthguard only shifts your teeth if it hasn’t been properly fitted to your bite. A properly fitting mouthguard should be snug enough to stay in without clenching, but shouldn’t be painful or uncomfortable. If you feel a lot of pressure or discomfort, contact our office so that we can make adjustments.
Can a mouthguard make you sick?
It can if it isn’t cleaned properly. Moist environments are havens for bacteria to grow. Regular cleaning removes the risk of danger from these bacteria. When you aren’t wearing your mouthguard, store it in a case that has ventilation. Keeping it clean and dry is the best way to avoid getting sick from mouthguard bacteria.
Can I use the same guard for sports protection and TMJ symptoms?
No, these mouthguards are for specific tasks and are made out of different materials. Sports mouthguards are made of a bulkier, lightweight material that’s designed to absorb shock. TMJ guards are a thinner material that prevents damage from grinding the teeth together. A TMJ guard won’t be able to absorb the shocks of contact sports. And using a sports mouthguard for TMJ purposes can damage both the mouthguard and your teeth.
Can I drink water with my mouthguard in?
Yes, but don’t drink any other beverages or eat with your mouthguard in. Acidic beverages and foods damage and scratch the mouthguard, compromising it. They also produce particles in your mouth for bacteria to cling to.
Do I need a custom mouthguard?
If you play any type of contact sport, a mouthguard protects your teeth from damage. For TMJ, we’ll do an exam to determine the best route of treatment for you. Often, a mouthguard is used to prevent damage from grinding and clenching your teeth. Other treatment options may also be suggested.
Schedule An Appointment Today
If you think you could benefit from a custom mouthguard, please contact our office. Schedule an appointment online today. We look forward to providing you with a mouthguard that will suit all of your dental protection needs.