A mouthguard is tailormade to you. It provides a protective cover which fits exactly over your teeth and gums to cushion and protect your teeth, gums and jaw from damage. Our Edgar Buildings Dental and Implant Clinic orthodontists are expertly trained to craft the most comfortable mouthguard for your needs.
Why would I need a mouthguard?
It is advisable to wear a professionally made mouthguard if you play sports such as rugby, cricket, hockey and football. Impact to the face, either from a ball or another player, can cause shock waves to travel through your jaw leading to bone damage, or a direct hit can shatter or chip a tooth. In fact dental injuries are a common occurrence in these kinds of sports. A mouthguard will not help prevent chipping or breaking teeth as a result of impact, it will act as a shock absorber to help protect against a painful broken or dislocated jaw.
Mouthguards can also be custom made to wear at night if you are susceptible to clenching or grinding your teeth (bruxism). A mouthguard will not cure your bruxism, but if you have come to your Edgar Buildings Dental and Implant Clinic dentist for guidance and advice on teeth grinding, they may offer a mouthguard as a method to provide relief from the pressure and the sound while you explore the causes. The application of a mouthguard will even out the pressure across your jaw as well as provide a barrier between your bottom and top teeth. The soft material means that it reduces wear on your teeth and also helps to diminish the grinding sound.
You may also require a mouthguard for some teeth whitening treatments.
The making of a mouthguard
Your Edgar Buildings Dental and Implant Clinic orthodontist will make your mouthguard to fit the exact shape of your jaw, ensuring that it stays in place comfortably, provides maximum protection and lasts for as long as possible.
Your local Bath dentist will take an impression of your teeth from which to make the finished guard. This first impression is used to make a complete plaster cast model of your jaw, gums and teeth that the dental laboratory technicians will use. They shape the mouthguard material around the model to create a part that fits snugly over either your upper or lower teeth. The expert technicians will use the model to make sure that the bite is as comfortable as possible, and make small adjustments until the mouthguard is at a stage ready to be delivered to back to Edgar Buildings Dental and Implant Clinic where you can pick it up. Your mouthguard will come with care instructions and a container to protect it when you are not wearing it.
What colour will my mouthguard be?
Your mouthguard can be made out of see-through plastic, so that it is near invisible, or you can have it made in a colour of your choice. Sometimes sports teams have their mouthguards created in team colours.
Maintaining your mouthguard
- Scrub your mouthguard after every use with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Keep it in its protective case when you are not wearing it.
- Mouthguards are plastic, so keep it out of very hot water and the sun – these will cause it to melt and deform.
- Make sure you regularly replace your mouthguard, not only for good hygiene but also to update it as your teeth naturally change and move.
A strong, durable mouthguard could last you years but, of course, the lifetime of your mouthguard depends on how well you care for it, and whether it takes any blows from your sporting activities. On average a mouthguard will last around six months to a year. If your teeth are still moving or coming through, then it is important to get your mouthguard replaced more regularly to ensure that it fits correctly.
Can I buy a mouthguard off the shelf?
You can buy pre-formed mouthguards from some sports shops. These kind of mouthguards are made to mould at home (known as a boil-and-bite). It comes in a shape that will fit any jaw to firstly be boiled at home. While the guard is still hot, you place it over your teeth and shape it to your jaw. These are less accurate than a mouthguard provided by an orthodontist and can therefore be uncomfortable and awkwardly fitted. You may find them more brittle and liable to damage due to the heating and cooling process. To best protect your teeth, it is advisable to speak to your dentist about your options.
To get a custom made mouthguard contact your Edgar Buildings Dental and Implant Clinic dentist to make an appointment.