What Kind of Mouthguard Is Suitable for Your Needs?

What Kind of Mouthguard Is Suitable for Your Needs?

January 16, 2020

A mouthguard is a dental appliance that is useful for safeguarding your teeth from clenching or grinding when sleeping or from impacts when playing sports. They are also useful to curtail snoring and relieve the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. However, all mouthguards are not similar to each other.

You can find three types of mouthguards suitable for your unique needs. Keep reading to educate yourself about the different types including the varieties that are the best in certain situations.

What Are the Different Types of Mouthguards?

The most widely used and affordable variety is the stock mouthguard which can be purchased from sporting goods stores and pharmacies. These are available in large, medium, and small sizes and can fit over your teeth. The stock mouthguards only cover your upper teeth. This variety is easy to find and affordable but comes with some downsides. The size options available are limited and comfort hasn’t been given any thought by the manufacturers. They can make it difficult for you to speak when wearing one.

The boil and bite mouthguard is similar to stock mouthguards and is available in most pharmacies although they are slightly expensive. These mouthguards are available in a single size that can be customized to fit your teeth. They need to be boiled to soften them before being placed on your front teeth and biting down. Following the instructions provided by the manufacturer will allow you to get the best fit.

Custom made mouthguards by your dentist are also available. These are made from a mold taken by the dentist and used to create the appliance specifically to suit your mouth and teeth. They provide a better fit than the stock or boil and bite mouthguards because they are more comfortable to wear and difficult to dislodge when sleeping.

If you grind your teeth when sleeping, snore, or have the problem of sleep apnea a custom night guard will be suitable for you. Custom made mouthguards by the dentist are more expensive than the other varieties but many dental insurance plans offer you coverage for some or all of the costs.

What Type of Mouthguard Should You Be Using?

All mouthguards look similar to each other but have different functions.

If you have the problem of bruxism which is a sleep-related movement disorder that can damage your teeth you will benefit from a night guard for teeth which will prevent you from grinding or clenching your teeth. The night guard will separate your top and bottom teeth when sleeping to ensure they do not cause damages to each other. To overcome the problem of bruxism you will be required to invest in a custom made mouthguard, dentist. You can experiment with a boil and bite mouthguard initially before talking to your dentist for a custom guard. The mouth guard for teeth grinding will alleviate the problem of bruxism for you.

If you have a problem with sleep apnea you should be considering a mouth guard for sleeping. Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that causes you to stop breathing when you sleep. The condition prevents your brain from receiving the oxygen it needs to increase your risk of strokes and heart disease. Many people are using a CPAP machine to keep their airways open when sleeping but are often unable to adhere to it. However, if your condition of sleep apnea is mild you can contact your dentist for an oral appliance in the form of a mouth guard for sleeping that will push your lower jaw and tongue forward to keep your airway open.

If you are one among the many people attempting to straighten your teeth with the help of orthodontics you can even find a mouth guard for braces. Here again, you will find several types of mouthguards available in the market but it is suggested that you opt for a custom made mouthguard from your dentist to provide your teeth, lips, tongue, and cheeks the protection they need without damaging your braces. You must ensure that you get a perfect fit while being comfortable at the same time.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re playing sports, have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or bruxism a mouthguard is an appliance you should be looking for to protect you and help you to get a good night’s sleep.

If you are unsure about the type of mouthguard suitable for you, a discussion with your dentist should help you clarify your thoughts. The dentist can work with you to develop a custom mouthguard or even recommend an over-the-counter device if you do not want to invest in a custom made mouthguard.