The Importance of Mouthguards in Preventing Dental Injuries
Broken and worn teeth can be avoided, if you use the right types of mouthguards. Why get a fitted mouthguard from a dentist? Because they’re precisely formed to your unique smile.
Every professionally made mouthguard is more durable and protective than what you could buy at a drugstore. Plus, various types of mouthguards are made for specific purposes. For instance, some are designed for people who clench and grind their teeth, while others offer added protection from sports related trauma.
Athletic / Sports Mouthguards
When it comes to athletic injuries, up to 40% of accidents affect the face. Most of them include busted lips, broken facial bones, fractured noses, broken jaws, and broken or knocked out teeth.
Since more kids are involved in sports on a regular basis, the number of injuries has risen tremendously over the years. Especially in the summertime, when the kids are out of school.
How to Reduce Athletic Injuries
To prevent orofacial trauma, one of the best pieces of protective equipment you can invest in is a professionally fitted mouthguard. Unlike looser “stock” guards or “boil and bite” trays you can buy in the store, when Dr. Bestandji makes you a sports mouthguard at our Princeton dentist office, you get extra benefits like:
- Improved comfort
- Less chance of it falling out
- Better protection against soft tissue injuries
- Reduces the chance of concussion
- Protects from secondary trauma
- Lowers your risk of bone fractures
Since your sports mouthguard is made from a mold of your bite, it fits snuggly and doesn’t easily slip out of place. With an over-the-counter athletic guard, the looser fit is more likely to fall out if you get hit or fall, so it won’t be there from the secondary trauma (a second hit, bounce, or blow) to protect you. A fitted, custom guard will!
Plus, Dr. Bestandji can even customize your athletic mouthpiece to be the same color as your team jersey.
How do Mouthguards Prevent Concussions?
There’s been a lot of research on how different types of orofacial injuries can cause concussions, especially in athletes. Studies show that when there’s a blow to the jaw, it can be forced back and up into the skull, causing damage to the brain (and thereby causing a concussion.)
However, if you prevent your jaw from being forced backwards into the skull, you can essentially avoid that specific type of concussion injury.
The only way to protect yourself is to use the type of sports mouthguard that buffers your jaw and physically prevents it from being able to jolt back and upwards. A professional athletic guard offers this protection, but it can’t be bought online or in a store; only your dentist can make it!
Types of Dental Night Guards
Aside from athletic guards, one of the other common types of protective appliances we make in our dentist office is night guards. There are different types of dental night guards, depending on your personal preferences and what you need it for.
Bruxism — a habit where people suffer from chronic teeth clenching and grinding — can lead to permanent tooth damage, migraines, and broken dental work. Since it’s a subconscious habit that can happen while you sleep, it’s best to get a mouthguard made that is comfortable enough to wear, but secure enough that you know it won’t fall out.
What are the best dental guards for teeth clenching and grinding? Usually you have two options: an “NTI” style bite splint, or a full arch mouthguard.
Bite splints tend to just go over the front top two teeth, with a small projection that prevents your lower jaw from being able to bite down all the way against your upper teeth. Since there’s a small buffer space, your jaw can’t fully engage. As a result, you save your teeth from wear.
However, some people don’t care for NTI splints while they’re sleeping. If that’s the case, you might want to opt for a full mouthguard.
A traditional night guard will cover all of your upper teeth. It’s made of a thick acrylic to prevent your enamel from wearing itself down. Instead, your teeth press into the night guard. If it ever eventually starts to wear thin, you have it replaced with a new one. Like a splint, full arch night guards prevent your jaw from fully engaging, so they’re useful for a variety of different factors, including:
- TMJ disorder
- Tooth Wear / Breakage
Today, there are even some types of mouthguards that help with problems like snoring and obstructive sleep apnea!
How Do Mouthguards Work & What Do Mouthguards Do?
As with any type of athletic equipment, a mouthguard protects what’s underneath. It may be that you’re grinding your teeth when you sleep, or you’re active in a recreational sport. Why get a fitted mouthguard from a dentist? Because it offers the very best protection that a looser generic splint just can’t offer.
Thanks to their molded shape, custom mouthguards stay in place when you need them, don’t get in the way when you’re hydrating or talking during a game, and are more comfortable to wear while you sleep. Plus, they offer the highest level of protection against broken teeth, chipped enamel, concussions, and broken jaws.
Want to know where to get custom mouthguards in Princeton, NJ? Look no further than Canal Vista Family Dental! Dr. Bestandji and our staff can get a professional made bite splint or guard ready for you within just a few days, so that you’ll have it for your next game.
All you need to get started is to schedule a short visit to stop by and have an impression made of your teeth. Once we have the mold, the guard is created on top of it.
Sometimes, depending on the type of guard and what it’s made out of, we can have it ready on the very same day.
Call us today to schedule your visit. New patients are always welcome!