Mouthguards are made of durable polymer which is flexible so it will not damage teeth. They are used to protect teeth while participating in sports to minimize the impact of any blow to the face. It lessens the chance for broken or chipped teeth in contact sports. The top teeth generally take the brunt of most contact because they are more exposed. It also guards against soft tissue damage to the gums, tongue and inside of the cheeks.
Custom made mouthguards are also used to help patients with TMJ issues and for those who grind their teeth while they sleep. The guard keeps both the upper and lower teeth from touching so as the patient sleeps, they cannot grind their teeth together, so it stops erosion in its tracks.
There are three different kinds of mouthguards. Store-bought ones where one size fits all. There are the boil and bite, which are better fitted but the best fitting mouthguards are those that are custom made to specifically fit a single patient's mouth.
How to Clean Mouthguards
Mouthguards should be cleaned and maintained correctly to extend its life as long as possible. Without doing so it will wear out quickly. It is designed to last up to five years with proper care.
Patients should rinse mouthguards in cold water or some kind of mouth rinse both before and definitely after each use. Since the mouth is full of all kinds of bacteria, it's important to keep it clean so it does not lead to infections in other areas of the mouth. Though they can last up to five years, it is recommended to replace each year because they do wear out even from proper use and cleanings. If you are interested in a custom-made mouthguard calls us at your convenience.
ORAL SURGERY SPECIALISTS OF AUSTIN
Derrick Flint, MD, DDS | Matthew Largent, MD, DDS