Types Of Dental Products
You might be familiar with dental products like toothpaste, mouthwash and toothbrushes. But there are also a variety of dental products available to help depending on the specific problem one is facing. A dental professional may suggest a product geared to helping prevent or treat a dental problem.
Mouthguards are a popular product for anyone who participates in contact sports. But another kind of mouth guards , or night guard, might be suggested for those who grind their teeth at night. There are also devices that can be used to help someone who suffers from sleep apnea, thumb sucking or snoring.
Different Kinds Of Mouthguards
A dentist will often recommend a mouthguard for those who play sports that have any kind of physical contact. This is to protect the teeth if there is an impact on the head or mouth area. But there are several types of mouthguards dentists use for different reasons.
Stock Mouth Guards – These are commonly purchased in a retail store or in a sports store. But they are not very effective. They are pre-shaped and may or may not fit properly, leaving the teeth without adequate protection. They can make it difficult to talk or breathe correctly.
Boil-and-Bite Guards – These mouth pieces are also pre-shaped, but they can be placed in boiling hot water so they are pliable. Once the plastic is warm, the wearer can bite down on it to shape it to their mouth. These are commonly available at stores selling sports equipment and they are a little better than a stock mouth guard.
Customized Mouth Guard – This type of mouth protector is specially designed by the dentist and customized to fit a specific person only. They are going to be the most comfortable, and provide the best protection for the teeth. The dentist will make an impression of the teeth and then the guard is customized to fit perfectly. This is the preferred type of mouthguard by most athletes since they fit well and are more comfortable. However, they are understandably the most expensive type of mouth guard as well.
The Dentist And Sleep Apnea
A dentist might not diagnose you with sleep apnea, but a doctor might recommend you see one if you have been diagnosed. Why? What does the dentist have to do with sleep patterns? A diagnoses of sleep apneameans the muscles in the tongue and throat areas cause tissues to block air from getting to the lungs. This occurs when you are relaxed, or sleeping. In most cases, a CPAP machine can be used for treatment, but for some this in not ideal. The dentist can prescribe some mouth devices for treating sleep apnea.
What Kinds Of Mouth Devices Can Be Used For Sleep Apnea?
If your sleep apnea is mild or moderate, the dentist may be able prescribe a mouth piece to help treat the condition effectively. However, in order for the device to work properly to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea, it must be properly fitted by an orthodontist or dentist. They may recommend on of two types of common devices.
MAD – The Mandibular Advancement Device is commonly used to treat sleep apnea. It looks very similar to a basic mouth guard used by athletes. The device snaps over upper and lower arches and contain metal hinges that allow the bottom jaw to ease forward.
Tongue Retraining Device – This device is not used as frequently as the MAD. It prevents the tongue from relaxing too much so the airway remains open.
Either of these devices may be used to help improve the sleep of people who suffer from mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea.
What Are Night Guards?
A night guard is a type of mouth guard that is worn at night to help protect the teeth from grinding. Many people unknowingly clench their teeth together tightly when they are sleeping. This can be very harmful to the teeth. Experts suggest somewhere between 10 to 15% of all adults experience teeth grinding.
Alleviating The Effects Of Teeth Grinding
The most common way to alleviate the damage caused by grinding the teeth is to wear a special mouthpiece, or a night guard. It is usually only worn at nighttime.
How Are Night Guards Used?
A night guard can be obtained from your dentist and custom made to fit your teeth. Then you will put it in warm water for just a few seconds so it becomes soft. They you can bite down gently on the guard to shape it to the teeth.
Do I Need To See A Dentist To Get A Night Guard?
If it is to fit perfectly and be of higher quality it will require a visit to the dental office. When the dentist makes a mouth guard it is fit to your teeth which means it will ultimately be more comfortable. This means you are far more likely to wear it each night without disrupting your sleep.
Who Needs Sports Guards?
Any kind of physical activity can result in an accident. Having a sports guards for your mouth is so important because it can help protect you from serious injuries to your teeth, lips or soft tissues in the mouth. They can also help prevent your teeth from getting chipped or broken, nerve damage and the loss of a tooth.
What If I Already Wear Braces?
If you wear braces, you are even more susceptible to mouth injuries during sports related activities. If you have an accident or collide with another player, you can not only hurt your mouth, teeth or gums, but you also stand a chance of damaging your braces. This makes it even more important for you to wear a mouthpiece.
Talk To Your Dentist
Whether or not you wear braces, you will need to visit your dentist or orthodontist to determine which of the popular sports guards will be the best for your particular situation. They will need to make an impression of your teeth, whether or not you wear braces, and then make a unique mouth piece that will fit your needs.
It is also worth noting that you should not wear any retainers or any other type of dental appliance when you are playing a contact sport of any kind. It puts you and your mouth at risk for serious injury.