When you think of ‘dental care’, the first things that come to mind are usually dentists and toothbrushes. While visiting the dentist is the best way to deal with more complex problems, such as cavities and tooth decay, toothbrushes are widely considered to be the most basic dental care tools for everyday use and keeping teeth clean.
However, despite their daily utility, toothbrushes aren’t the only dental care tools. From flossing tools to mouthwashes, there’s a wide variety of products that protect our teeth from short and long-term damage.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at the most versatile protective tool for your teeth – mouth guards. Also called mouth protectors, these sturdy tools help cushion the force of impact to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face, or jaw. They typically act as a cover for the teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips, and cheek lining.
While oral hygiene tools such as teeth whitening products, mouthwash and toothbrushes serve specific purposes, mouth guards are extremely versatile and offer a solution to multiple problems. Let us take a look at the different uses for a mouthguard.
Teeth grinding or bruxism is an extremely common ailment that can result in long-term damage to teeth. Studies indicate that over 8% of American adults have suffered from the ailment at some point in their lives. Bruxism is also classified as a sleep ailment, as in most cases patients grind their teeth in their sleep.
The main issue is that most patients aren’t even aware of the fact that they grind their teeth at night. This makes diagnosis difficult and in many instances, the damage is already done by the time a dentist identifies the problem.
Teeth grinding causes short-term effects like jaw pain and ache but the more serious consequences are long-term, as it can result in blunting and wearing down of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to cavities and reduced effectiveness while chewing food.
Mouthguards are a huge help to bruxism patients because they act as a cushion between the upper and lower layers of teeth, reducing friction, and protecting them from damage. Mouthguards also help bruxism patients sleep better and reduced stress which is caused by uncontrollable clenching.
Protection For Athletes During Sports
The most common use of mouthguards is by athletes and sportspersons. A variety of individual and team sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts, basketball, rugby, American football, and ice hockey to name a few, involve a high risk of suffering a blow to the face. Sports injuries are extremely common and the risk factor only increases with each level.
The intensity of sports can cause serious damage to the teeth. In these sports, it is not unusual for participants to take heavy hits to the mouth which can break teeth and even jaws. Professional-grade mouth guards are extremely useful to athletes for two main reasons –
- Mouth guards protect teeth, mouth, gums, jaws, and tongue from severe damage.
- They provide athletes with mental comfort and alleviate the anxiety of suffering an injury, thus allowing them to perform their very best.
It is important to note that participants at all levels can and should use mouth guards while playing sports and the usefulness of these tools is not limited to professional, full-time athletes only.
Teeth Whitening Trays
A comparatively new use for mouth guards is their utility as ‘trays’ through which people can apply gels, creams, and other products. Mouth guards are becoming increasingly popular as teeth whitening tools. The latest models are even equipped with LED lighting, which increases the effectiveness and speed of the teeth whitening process.
These mouth guards still serve the usual purpose of sturdy protection but are also slightly modified in design, which allows users to apply a cream or gel onto them. The gel is then evenly applied on the surface of teeth, enabling proper distribution in the required amounts.
Teeth whitening has always been popular. However, modern technology allows us to improve the appearance of the surface of teeth like never before. From teeth whitening gels to strips, mouth guards help you get the most out of these products and add a natural, healthy glow to your smile!
Always remember to consult your dentist in Wicker Park regarding mouth guards. Purchase products that are certified, manufactured using medical-grade equipment and most importantly, fit your mouth perfectly, for maximum comfort and effectiveness. Keep your teeth healthy and smile bright!