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Q.        

What are Mouthguards?

A.        

Mouthguards or protectors that provide a sort of cushion against blow to the face and are highly effective in minimizing risks to the teeth, tongue, lips and jaws or to the face against any damage.

Tongue and lips are made of soft tissues basically. Especially when you are participating in recreational activities or organized sports, proper protection against injuries is very essential. Mouthguards are also named as gumshield, mouth protector, occlusal splint, bite plane, nightguard gumguard and mouthpiece or bite splint. Although mouthguards mostly provide protection only to the upper teeth, however, the dentists suggest mouthguards for the lower teeth if you if you have braces on them.

Mouthguards- types

Mouthguards mostly come under the following three categories:

•   Custom fitted Mouthguards. If you are looking for the best Mouthguards then custom fitted mouthguards is the best choice for you. Although custom fitted mouthguards are more expensive, these provide maximum safety. The dentists keeping in view the teeth and gums sizes, make custom fitted mouthguards.

•    Readymade or Stock Mouthguards. These Mouthguards come in ready-to-wear form and are pre-formed. The biggest disadvantage of using the readymade Mouthguards is these mostly don’t fit well to everyone. Moreover, these are a bit bulky and may cause talking and breathing difficulties.

•    Boil & bite. These mouthguards are readily available and can be found almost at every drug store, sporting goods store and provide better results than readymade mouthguards. Boiling in water before wearing softens these. These Mouthguards adapt perfectly to the shape of your mouth and are effective in safeguarding your mouth and teeth.

Customs made mouthguards are highly effective but are expensive. According to the shape of your face and jaws, the dentists make such mouthguards. If you have a low budget then you may look for the stock mouthguards or boil and bite mouthguards. Another big plus is these mouthguards are easily available at drugstores.

Why mouthguards?

For those who have fixed bridgework or wear braces, mouthguards provide great protection against facial injury or teeth breakage. Mouthguards provide a cushion between the braces and the lips or cheek. These also minimize the risk of getting injuries to the tongue’s soft tissues.

Who should wear mouthguards?

If you are an athlete, then make mouthguards as an essential piece of your athletic event. As per survey, athletes not wearing a protectors or mouthguards are 60 times more prone to the harm to the teeth, tongue, cheek lining, lips or jaws.

Useful tips about using mouthguards

For better results and longer life span of your mouthguards, one must follow these tips:

•   Clean your mouthguards after every use: Rinse your mouthguards before every use and clean mouthguards with standard toothbrush and toothpaste.

•   Use sturdy container with vents for moving the mouthguards.

•   Don’t expose the mouthguards to hot sun and don’t keep these in hot water for longer periods. This will lead to the destruction of the material fibers and you will not be able to use it in an effective manner henceforth.

•   Inspect the mouthguards regularly and replace if you observe any damage to the surface. 

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