The Importance of Mouth Guards

Mouth guards can protect your teeth.

Mouth guards can help protect you from grinding and clenching your teeth.

Stress and sports are two of the biggest causes of people grinding and clenching their teeth. It is a habit that can be extremely hard to break and can also severely damage your teeth. So what can do you do prevent yourself from ruining your teeth? Talk to your dentist about obtaining a mouth guard!

What are Mouth Guards?

Mouth guards are barriers that stop you from grinding or clenching your teeth. Signs that you have been grinding your teeth include flattened teeth, craters on the tops or notches in the sides of your teeth, tired jaw muscles, and headaches. Generally, mouth guards only cover the top portion of your mouth, but for some patients, a bottom set may be needed for the most protection.

Medical Conditions and Mouth Guards

Mouth guards are commonly prescribed to medical conditions that may cause grinding or clenching. An example of one of these medical conditions is temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is a medical disorder that causes the hinge connecting your jawbone to your skull to slide. Mouth guards will prevent the slide of the joint. They can also help against overbites and other minor issues.

The Choices

There are three kinds of guards to choose from. Stock mouth protectors can be bought at most sporting goods stores and are inexpensive. These guards are bulky and can make it difficult to breathe and talk. They do not provide a lot of protection and are not dentist recommended. Boil-and-Bite protectors can be found in a variety of stores including drug and department stores. These guards are made of thermoplastic materials and place in hot water to soften before biting. They do have a custom fit but do not cover the teeth entirely. Custom-fitted mouth protectors from your dentist are the best way to go. These protectors are made from an impression your dentist takes, then the mouth guard is molded over the model using a special material. This type of mold takes longer to make and involves more steps than the other pieces but it also provides the most comfort and protection for your teeth.

Mouth Guards and Sports

One of the most common uses for mouth guards is in the sports world. When hit in the face, a mouth guard can keep jaws and teeth from breaking. Many sports organizations, such as the U.S. Lacrosse League, has put a mandatory rule into effect that all athletes must have a customized mouth guard in place during all games and practices. While it may look difficult, mouth guards that are properly fitted will not impede speech, breathing, or pose a choking risk.

A Fashion Statement

This piece of gear is no longer an uncomfortable, clear piece of plastic. They now come in different colors, styles, and logos for your child’s sports team. When choosing a custom mouth guard, it is important for it not only to look good, but to feel good in your mouth. With proper care, your custom mouth guard made by your dentist will be the perfect fit for your mouth for many years to come!

Leikin & Baylin Dental Care of Catonsville

If you have questions about your dental hygiene routine or you just need to schedule a cleaning, let our friendly and professional staff help restore your dental health. Call today at 410-747-1115, or submit any questions by visiting

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 at 8:34 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.