In honor of National Facial Protection Month in April, we will be talking about mouthguards. Mouthguards are an important part of dental care. They protect your teeth from injuries that can occur during sports or other activities. In fact, mouthguards can help prevent many dental problems from occurring in the first place! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common dental problems that can be prevented by using a mouthguard.
What is a mouthguard?
First things first, we must answer the question: what is a mouthguard? A mouthguard is an oral appliance that is worn over the teeth and gums to protect them from injury. Mouthguards are usually made of soft plastic and fit snugly over the teeth and sometimes the gums as well. They help to cushion the teeth and absorb impact in case of a fall or collision.
There are three main types of mouthguards:
Stock mouthguards: These are pre-made and can be bought at most sporting goods stores. They come in fixed sizes and may not fit well, which can make them uncomfortable to wear.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards: These are made of thermoplastic material that becomes soft when heated in water. They can be fitted to the teeth by biting into them while they are still soft. However, you should always look for the ADA Seal of Approval when purchasing over the counter mouthguards.
Custom-fitted mouthguards: These are made by a dentist or orthodontist to fit your specific mouth shape. They are usually more comfortable and provide better protection than stock or boil-and-bite mouthguards.
Now that we know what a mouthguard is, let’s discuss some of the dental problems that can be prevented by wearing one!
Dental Problems That Can Be Prevented by Wearing a Mouthguard
There are many dental problems that can be prevented by wearing a mouthguard. Some of the most common problems include:
Tooth fractures can occur when the teeth are hit with a hard object, such as a ball or puck. Fractured teeth must be evaluated and treated by a dentist to prevent the damage from becoming worse or the tooth from becoming infected. A mouthguard can help to cushion the teeth and absorb impact, which can prevent fractures from occurring.
Tooth loss can occur if the teeth are knocked out of the mouth. In most cases, knocked out teeth will need to be replaced with some type of tooth prosthetic such as a bridge or dental implant. A mouthguard can help to keep the teeth in place and prevent them from being knocked out.
Cuts and bruises:
Cuts and bruises to the lips, tongue, and cheeks are other common injuries that can occur during sports or other activities. These injuries can be painful and may require medical treatment, such as stiches. A mouthguard can help to prevent cuts and bruises by shielding the gums and other soft tissues from impact and preventing the teeth from accidentally biting down.
Chipped teeth can occur if the teeth are hit with a hard object. Chipped teeth may not require treatment, but in some cases, they may need to be repaired by a dentist if the chip is deep enough to reach the dentin or pulp layer. A mouthguard can help to prevent chipped teeth by absorbing impact and cushioning the teeth.
In conclusion, mouthguards are an important part of dental care. They help to protect the teeth and gums from injuries that can occur during sports or other activities. Mouthguards can also help to prevent many dental problems from occurring in the first place! If you are looking for a mouthguard, be sure to talk to your dentist or orthodontist about custom-fitted mouthguards. Custom-fitted mouthguards are the best type of mouthguard for preventing dental problems. Thanks for reading!
Dr. Roman Fedorciw has been in private practice in Cromwell since 1991. He is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Dental Association. He is also a member of the Connecticut Dental Association and Middlesex County Dental Association. Dr. Fedorciw has been acknowledged by his peers as one of the “Top Dentists” in Hartford County by Hartford Magazine and in the state of Connecticut by Connecticut Magazine.