Mouthguards in Huntsville, AL

In the world of contact sports, protective gear is a standard requirement to safeguard players from injuries. Whether it’s a helmet, elbow pads, shinguards, or even gloves, plenty of rules and equipment are in place to protect the players. However, the importance of mouthguards in protecting teeth is often overlooked. Yet, wearing a mouthguard is crucial for individuals engaged in high-impact sports or activities with a risk of falls, such as football, basketball, lacrosse, hockey, wrestling, biking, and gymnastics.

What Can Mouthguards Do?

Mouthguards in Huntsville, AL Chase Family Dentistry

Playing sports, especially those involving collisions or high-speed actions, increases the chance of dental injuries. Using mouthguards has proven effective in lowering the risk of such injuries during physical activities. However, mouthguards are not just essential for athletes; they serve various purposes. For instance, mouthguards can:

  • Shield teeth from dental injuries
  • Alleviate symptoms of TMJ disorder
  • Prevent teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Reduce snoring and sleep apnea disruptions

Selecting the Right Mouthguard

Choosing a mouthguard depends on individual needs, preferences, and budgets:

  1. Stock mouthguard: No preparation is needed for these ready-to-wear mouthguards. They come in multiple sizes, but, like clothing, one size might not fit your mouth perfectly. They are a quick solution but wear down rapidly and may require replacement during the sports season.
  2. “Boil and bite” mouthguards: About as long-lasting as a generic stock mouthguard, this option offers a more personalized fit. After softening them in boiling water, you can mold these guards to your teeth.
  3. Custom-fit mouthpiece: Provided by dental professionals like Dr. Clayton at Chase Family Dentistry, these mouthguards are tailored to your teeth using a custom mold. They offer the highest quality of comfort and protection due to their precise fit. Though they come with a higher initial cost, these custom mouthguards are more cost-effective in the long run. Their higher-quality materials make them more durable than over-the-counter options.

Typically, mouthguards cover your upper teeth, but Dr. Clayton may recommend a lower guard in specific cases, such as those with braces.

Caring for Mouthguards

Bacteria can accumulate on your mouthguard, so it is important to clean it properly. Caring for your mouthguard should be a regular part of your oral hygiene routine.

  • After each use, rinse your mouthguard with cold water (never hot) and brush it gently with your toothbrush.
  • Store it in a cool, dry place, ideally in a ventilated container.
  • Deep clean your mouthguard at least once per month.
  • Keep your guard away from hot surfaces and direct sunlight.
  • Bring your mouthguard to your regular dental cleanings so Dr. Clayton can examine its condition and let you know when it might be time for a replacement.

What If I Don’t Play Sports?

Even if you’re not an athlete, mouthguards can be beneficial. They’re effective in managing bruxism—or subconscious teeth grinding—which can cause tooth sensitivity, headaches, and sore jaw muscles. Mouthguards can also alleviate symptoms of TMJ disorder, such as soreness, difficulty opening your mouth, and migraines. With 5-12% of the population affected by TMJ disorders, mouthguards can offer significant relief.

Safeguard Your Smile With a Custom Mouthguard

Prioritizing your oral health and protecting your teeth is a wise choice, especially if you engage in sports or other activities with potential oral injury risks. Custom mouthguards, expertly crafted by dental professionals like Dr. Clayton, are the pinnacle of comfort and protection. While they may involve a higher upfront cost, their long-term durability and superior materials make them a cost-effective investment. Choose the tailored precision of custom mouthguards to safeguard your smile. Contact us today to schedule your visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

You should wear your mouthguard while participating in an activity that poses a risk to your teeth. Whether it’s a game, a practice, or a workout, your teeth need protection. After the activity, remove and clean the mouthguard as recommended.

Mouthguard costs vary by type. Stock mouthguards are more affordable but less durable, whereas custom-made guards from dental professionals offer a superior fit and longevity.

You should consider replacing your mouthguard if it shows signs of wear, such as thinning, cracks, or holes, as these can reduce its effectiveness in protecting your teeth. Additionally, if you notice it no longer fits snugly or comfortably, it might be time for a new one. Those who use mouthguards regularly, such as athletes or individuals with bruxism, may need to replace their guard more frequently. Lastly, children and teenagers might need replacements more often due to changes in their dental structure as they grow.