dental mouth guards

Mouth guard, also known as gum shield, night guard, is a flexible covering worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from teeth grinding. A mouth guard is constructed from an impression that is taken of your teeth and is individually designed and made in our professional laboratory based on dentist’s instructions. They offer the best protection, fit and comfort level because they are custom-made to specifically fit your teeth.

Generally, a mouth guard covers your upper teeth only, except in some instances such as if you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, your mouth guard will be made for the lower teeth as well. Your dentist can suggest the best mouth guard for you. An effective mouth guard should resist tears, durable, easy to clean, comfortable, and should not restrict your breathing or speech.

Who Needs a Mouth Guard?

Mouth guards should be used by anyone, children and adults, who grind their teeth at night to prevent tooth damage. Many people grind their teeth to the point of destructiveness and are not completely aware of doing it because they do it while they sleep.

The action of grinding, where your upper and lower teeth move back and forth with great force against each other, causes your teeth to flatten. Allowed to persist, grinding causes temperature sensitivity, pain because the wear gets down to the nerve, cracks in the teeth, receding gums and eventually lost teeth.

In order to fix these, patients will need crowns, bridges, veneers, implants, extractions and root canals. Grinding can also cause migraine headaches and pain in the shoulders, neck, back and ears.

While getting a mouth guard will likely cost several hundred dollars, it can be an extremely worthwhile investment in the long run. Because it is designed by our dentist to fit your teeth exactly, it is much more likely than a store-bought guard to prevent you from needing more expensive dental work in the future. Don’t be surprised if your dentist says that you need a night guard. It may not be sexy, but it’s much sexier than missing teeth.

How do you care for your mouth guard?

  • Wash your mouth guard in cool, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly
  • Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soak your mouth guard in mouthwash before storing it in a firm, perforated container
  • Store your mouthguard and case somewhere your pet cannot get to it
  • Protect the mouth guard from high temperatures such as hot water, hot surfaces, or direct sunlight to minimize distorting its shape
  • Check fit and for signs of wear and tear to see if it needs replacing

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