A mouthguard is a device worn over your teeth that protects your teeth from excessive enamel wear and impact to the mouth, face, and head. If you participate in any sport that involves body contact, flying equipment, or falls, mouthguards are a crucial accessory to keep your teeth safe from potential injury. Mouthguards may also be needed for patients with braces or dental bridges to protect the tongue, lips, and cheek lining. Mouthguards are comfortable, durable, easy to clean, and won’t restrict your breathing, speech, or love for the game.
Mouthguards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries each year.
At your consultation, your dentist will determine if a mouthguard is right for you. Your doctor will examine your mouth for any indicators related to teeth grinding, clenching, or oral injury related to physical activity.
Your dentist will then take a mold of your teeth by placing them in a tray filled with impression material. Once the material sets around your teeth, the impression is removed. Your dentist may administer some adjustments to ensure your teeth are properly aligning on the mold. Once this is complete, your dentist will create the guard in the office or ship the mold to a special laboratory to make your guard.
Once the mouthguard is ready, your dentist will place the guard in your mouth to ensure proper fitting. You will also receive accessories and homecare instructions for long-lasting, durable wear.
A Vacuum-Formed mouthguard is a custom-made mouthpiece created in a dentist’s office. Patients who have braces, dental bridges, or are involved in recreational activity may be well suited for this type of mouthguard. A vacuum-formed mouthguard provides a single layer of protection against teeth and soft tissue contact.
This custom-made mouthguard provides a durable layer of protection for both rows of teeth against dental injuries or contact. Patients involved in sports that include falling, diving, or physical contact with others are great candidates for the pressure laminated mouthguard. Pressure laminated mouthguards are thicker than vacuum-formed mouthguards, making it the most long-lasting, resilient mouthguard available.
Mouthguards can reduce the risk of a concussion.
Mouthguards are designed to protect teeth from wear, damage, and strong physical contact to the face. For athletes, a mouthguard creates a shield around the teeth to soften blows from external physical contact. Patients wearing braces or dental bridges benefit from mouthguards as they keep their mouth appliances from coming into contact with their tongue, lips, and cheek lining.
With proper care, your custom mouthguard could last two to five years. Ultimately, the longevity of your mouthguard will depend on its wear and tear and how well you care for the guard. It is important to wear your guard regularly to preserve your teeth alignment. If you choose not to wear your mouthguard for some time, your teeth can shift and the guard may no longer fit, so a visit to the dentist for another guard or alignment check will be necessary.
Yes. Mouthguards endure significant wear and will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. It is common for your teeth to shift over time, so an annual visit to ensure your mouthguard is properly aligning is suggested. If you notice any cracks, tears, or deformations, contact your dentist to replace your mouthguard.
Over-the-counter mouthguards are mass-produced and made with a thin plastic that can universally fit any mouth. This material will prevent the longevity of the mouthguard, causing them to last only a few months before breaking down or failing to align with your teeth.
Custom-fitted mouthguards are made from thermoplastic, which is a far more durable material that is not offered in store-bought mouthguards. Mouthguards that are hand-molded by your dentist are designed to fit your teeth perfectly, which ensures better protection and a more comfortable feel.
The cost of mouthguards is different for each patient. Factors that may affect the cost of your mouthguard include the guard material, appointment and visits, and insurance type, and more. The best way to find out how much you’ll pay for a mouthguard is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.