Mouthguards are designed to protect your teeth from damage. This damage can be caused by impact during a recreational activity or sport or from clenching and grinding the teeth. In other words, these oral appliances don’t just protect your mouth and teeth but your perfect smile as well. In addition, they also protect your wallet from expensive dental repairs. This is another great reason to wear a mouthguard when you need one.
The Two Reasons to Wear Mouthguards
First, mouthguards protect your teeth during recreational activities such as football, hockey, skiing, basketball, and martial arts. These type of activities put your teeth in the line of fire of getting hit by an object such as a ball, puck, stick, or even a person’s hand or head. Moreover, there’s also a fall risk with any sport that requires running or skating. If you fall and hit your mouth, a great deal of damage to your teeth can be done when not protected.
Second, another reason to wear a mouthguard is bruxism. Bruxism is the technical term for unconscious grinding or clenching of the teeth (either during the day or sleep). This is caused by stress, sleep apnea, or even an abnormal bite. Bruxism leads to constant pressure and wearing on the teeth, and causes a lot of damage.
Sports and bruxism mouthguards are jaw-shaped protective appliances that fit over your top teeth. These protect your teeth from impact, and also stop your teeth from snapping together if you hit something.
Mouthguards Protect Teeth from Major Damage
Whether we’re talking about recreational mouthguards or night guards to protect against bruxism, mouthguards prevent damage by saving your mouth from a fall, a hit in the face, and damage you unconsciously do during sleep. Here’s an example of the types of damage the right mouthguard can save you from:
- Broken teeth and fillings
- Gum recession (a result of bruxism)
- Tooth fractures
- Teeth knocked out or loosened
Beyond that, bruxism also cause pain and discomfort in the form of jaw and muscle pain, headaches, earaches, disrupted sleep, and more. Mouthguards can prevent this.
The Cost of a Mouthguard Versus the Cost of Dental Repairs
A custom-made mouthguard costs anywhere between $100 and $500. While that may seem pricey, it helps to look at the big picture. For one thing, the mouthguard protects your teeth and prevents the pain and embarrassment you’ll experience if you chip, break, or lose a tooth. Just as importantly, the one-time cost of mouthguards pales in comparison to the cost of repairing damaged teeth. This is especially true when you continually expose yourself to damage without taking precautions.
If you knock out a filling, for instance, you can expect to pay at least $200 to replace it. If you chip a tooth and need dental bonding to fix it, the cost will start at $300. To fix a broken tooth with a crown, you’ll be paying at least $500. As long as you continue playing your favourite sport or grinding your teeth, there’s the potential for damage, requiring more costly repairs. Your smile is an essential part of your personality and a lifelong investment and wearing a mouthguard protects it.
Custom-Fit Mouthguards in Bradford Are Professionally Made
You have two options when it comes to mouthguards: out-of-the-box ones and custom-made. When you opt for a custom mouthguard, your dentist will start by taking a mould of your mouth. The dentist will then send the mould to a special lab, where they’ll make a mouthguard that perfectly fits the shape of your mouth and teeth.
When it comes to off-the-shelf mouthguards that you can buy at drug and sporting good stores, there are two choices to pick from. The first is a boil and bite mouthguard. When you buy these, you take them out of the package, boil them in water, and bite down into the soft plastic to form a mouthguard that’s somewhat fitted for your mouth. These are less expensive than professionally made mouthguards but aren’t as reliable.
The second and cheapest option is the stock mouthguard. Although these come in different sizes, the shape is always the same (it’s not customized to your mouth in any way), making these the least reliable mouthguards.
Why Custom Mouthguards Are Superior
Custom-made mouthguards that you get from the dentist offer the highest level of protection possible. They’re also more comfortable and durable than a store-bought one. What’s more, custom mouthguards can reduce the risk of concussion during sports play. This is because of their ability to stabilize the head and neck by limiting motion after a hit as they absorb shock. Store-bought (and especially stock) mouthguards, however, don’t offer this same protection for your brain.
Stock mouthguards are problematic because they don’t fit correctly, and this often means you’ll need to continually clench them in place. This leads to jaw pain, toothaches, and even difficulty breathing. Boil and bite mouthguards are superior to stock ones, but it’s easy to make mistakes during the moulding process that leaves the plastic brittle, weak, and liable to break during impact.
Custom mouthguards from your dentist offer the highest level of protection and comfort. These mouthguards are perfectly fitted to your teeth, meaning they prevent damage, are comfortable to wear, and can even protect your brain from a concussion in the event of an impact. Mouthguards are an investment that will protect your teeth, protect your smile, and protect your bank account from expensive dental repairs.