Mouthguards are protective oral devices that are worn over your teeth to protect them from damage. There are various types of mouthguards available in Saskatoon, including sports mouthguards, night mouthguards and mouthguards for treating sleep apnea.
How Do Mouthguards Work?
Mouthguards are made of a strong and durable plastic that helps to distribute the force of a blow to the mouth or too much pressure on the teeth. This minimizes the risk of injury, like fracture or chipping of teeth, or cuts to the lips, tongue, cheek and palate.
The upper teeth of your mouth take the brunt of the injury because they stick out more. Your lower teeth are more protected since they are located further back.
What are Mouthguards Used For?
Although mouthguards look very similar to each other, they can perform different functions:
Athletes who don’t wear mouthguards have 80% more chance of injury to their teeth. Certain sports, especially contact sports like boxing, martial arts, football, rugby, basketball, baseball, and wrestling, all carry a high risk of maxillofacial injuries.
A sports mouthguard can help reduce the force of the blow and prevent damage to your teeth. If you wear braces, it is prudent to wear a mouthguard on your bottom teeth as well to protect your orthodontia.
Mouthguards for Bruxism
Night mouthguards can be effective for people who clench their teeth or suffer from bruxism. These mouthguards or oral splint prevents your enamel from being eroded or your teeth from cracking under the pressure. A common cause of tooth breakage is bruxism. The condition of teeth grinding usually happens during the night and many sleepers do not realize it is happening. There are other generic causes, such as sleep disorders, anxiety and stress. A dentist approved mouthguard can control bruxism.
Wearing a mouthguard on your upper and lower arches will keep your teeth separated so they don’t become damaged. A custom-fitted Saskatoon mouthguard from West 14 Dental is a good option to treat bruxism.
Mouthguards for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a nocturnal disorder that causes a person to temporarily stop breathing while they are sleeping. This can result in a lack of oxygen to the brain and lead to other health issues as well.
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea that is caused by the back of the throat collapsing down and blocking the airway. A mouthguard for sleep apnea pushes the lower jaw forward and downward so that the pharynx remains open. In this case, our custom-fitted mouthguards are a good choice.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three types of mouthguards:
Stock mouthguards are available in pharmacies and sporting goods stores and come in very few sizes. They are the most inexpensive type of mouthguards, but are not very effective or durable. Their fit is bulky and you can have difficulty in breathing and talking while you are wearing them. They also rip and tear easily and provide next to no protection, so we do not recommend buying these.
Boil-and-bite mouthguards come in a single size that you can mold to fit your teeth. These trays are boiled in hot water until they soften. Once they cool down, you can place them in your mouth and bite down to mold them to your teeth. These mouthguards offer slightly better protection but they are ineffective for bruxism or sleep apnea.
At West 14 Dental, we make custom-fitted mouthguards, designed individually according to the size and shape of your mouth. We will first make an impression of your teeth and a mouthguard will be created based on this impression. Custom-fitted mouthguards in Saskatoon provide superior fit, better protection and more comfort than any other type of mouthguard.
Now that you have a mouthguard, your daily hygiene routine should include cleaning it. A mouthguard is the ultimate habitat for bacteria. Germs thrive best in warm, dark and moist environments, so it’s important to clean and store the mouthguard after every use.