Bite guards are a type of dental appliance that is used to protect the teeth from becoming damaged. A professionally fit bite guard fabricated by a dental laboratory is far more superior in fit, comfort, and effectiveness than over the counter varieties. Most bite guards are made to fit over an entire arch of teeth, however their exact structure can vary based upon the type of protection needed. For example, a sports mouthguard may cover both the teeth and gums, whereas a bite guard for teeth grinding may only cover the teeth. Ultimately, your dentist will discuss what type of bite guard is best for your individual dental needs.
Did You Know?
You may grind or clench your teeth at night and don’t even know it. Most people who grind or clench their teeth are completely unaware until their dentist points it out. In these cases, a nightguard is often recommended to protect the teeth from the damage of nighttime grinding or clenching.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need a bite guard?
You will need a bite guard if you play certain types of sports that can potentially cause damage to your teeth or gums. In fact, many contact sports leagues actually require bite guards for participation. Two common examples of sports that may require a bite guard include football and martial arts. Both children and adults can benefit from wearing bite guards during sports play.
You will also need a bite guard if you grind or clench your teeth at night. This is known as bruxism and it is an extremely destructive behavior. Over time, bruxism can cause premature enamel wear, dental erosion, damage to the teeth such as chips or cracks, and problems with your jaw joint. To prevent these things from happening, your dentist will fit you the necessary bite guard.
If you believe you may need a mouthguard for sports or bruxism, schedule a consultation with your Lakewood Ranch dentist today.
How will I be fit for a dental bite guard?
Being fit for a dental bite guard is a quick, painless, and non-invasive process. Your dentist will simply take a dental impression or oral scan of your mouth to obtain the information necessary to fabricate a custom bite guard. In as little as one minute your dentist will have all the information needed. The bite guard will then be fabricated by a dental lab and returned to your dentist’s office within a few days.
How do I care for a dental bite guard?
To care for your dental bite guard, you will need to gently brush it with cold water and toothpaste after every use. Occasionally, you can also use mild soap. When your bite guard is not in use, you will need to store it in its protective case in a cool, dry location. If your bite guard is exposed to too much heat, it can cause the shape to warp.
Additionally, it is important to note that you will need to bring your bite guard with you to future dental exams and cleanings. This is because your dentist will need to evaluate the condition of your bite guard to make sure it is still effective. While bite guards are designed to last quite a while, they do occasionally need to be replaced. If your bite guard doesn’t feel like it fits or it becomes uncomfortable to wear, this could be an indication that it is time for a new bite guard.