At your last visit to the dentist, they mentioned you were showing signs of teeth grinding and might need a mouthguard to protect your teeth. As an active athlete, you assumed your athletic mouthguard would do the trick. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. While both types of guards are designed to protect your teeth, athletic mouthguards and teeth grinding guards are made to protect differently. Choosing the right mouthguard is essential in order to get the protection you need.
How Athletic Mouthguards Protect Your Teeth
When it comes to athletic mouthguards, the goal is to protect the teeth, gums, and jaw from forceful and sudden impacts to the head. They are made of a softer, thicker material that extends to cover the gums and jaw, protecting the entire mouth. This thick material works as a shock absorber for the teeth and jawbones. This helps protect the teeth from being knocked out or broken, protects the gums from bruising or bleeding, and can even help prevent concussions when players get hit underneath the chin. Because these guards are thicker, they are not designed to wear for long periods and, when worn at night, can interrupt sleep or make it difficult to breathe.
How Teeth Grinding Guards are Different Than Mouthguards
A dental mouthguard, sometimes called an occlusal splint or bite guard, works to protect the surface of your teeth from the grinding and clenching caused by bruxism. This grinding and clenching can cause damage to the enamel, cause tooth sensitivity, and even chip teeth.
Unlike athletic mouthguards that are a thick and soft material that covers the teeth and gums, grinding guards are a thinner and harder material and only covers the surface of the teeth. This harder material withstands the constant pressure and grinding motion of the teeth without sustaining damage. If you were to wear an athletic mouthguard for grinding, chances are you would grind right through it, destroying the guard.
Grinding guards also come in various strengths and materials, depending on the severity of your teeth grinding. You can also have grinding guards that fit your bottom or top teeth, depending on what is more comfortable for you.
Make Sure You Choose the Right Guard for Your Needs
When it comes to mouthguards, you have three main choices for both sport and teeth grinding. These are stock guards, boil and bite, and custom-fit. You can find stock guards at drug stores or sporting good stores and they are a one-size-fits-all variety. Unfortunately, these don’t provide the best protection and are often uncomfortable to wear.
While any mouthguard is better than nothing, custom-fit mouthguards offer the best level of protection while being the most comfortable to wear. Visit SportingSmiles today and browse our collection of custom-fit mouthguards.
Boil and bite guards are a bit better. They allow you to customize the fit to your bite by boiling the guard before placing it in your mouth. While this is slightly better, one mistake when making the impression and the guard is no good.
Custom-fit guards, both for sports and teeth grinding, provide the best protection to your teeth and mouth. Your dentist makes a mold of your teeth and sends it to a dental lab to make your mouthguard. While these provide the best fit and the best protection from injury and grinding, they can be very costly. Mouthguards from a dentist range from $300 to $1,000. But you don’t have to pay those prices to get the protection you need.
At SportingSmiles, we offer both athletic mouthguards and teeth grinding guards at a fraction of the cost. Our patented self-impression kit allows you to make your dental mold at home. This allows us to offer the same, high-quality guards that your dentist offers, but at a fraction of the cost.