Many of us have heard of (or have used) retainers at one point in our lives. Retainers are often used in orthodontic treatment and can keep our teeth straight, but are not specialized in helping protect our teeth – that falls to mouthguards.
According to Cleveland Clinic,
“Mouthguards cover your teeth to protect teeth and gums. Custom-fitted mouthguards fit and protect your teeth better than over-the-counter mouthguards. Night guards can ease bruxism (teeth grinding). Kids and adults should wear mouthguards during contact sports or activities like biking.”
Learn More from Cleveland Clinic: Mouthguards: What are they and what do they do?
The Benefits of Mouthguards
Mouthguards protect your smile, whether you’re an athlete or grind your teeth while you sleep!
- When we play sports. Mouthguards are great athletic gear, especially for collision sports such as boxing, higher-risk sports, and non-contact activities.
- When we’re sleeping. If you’re experiencing sleep apnea or breathing problems when sleeping, mouthguards can help. Research shows that oral appliance therapy, or a mouth guard, is an effective treatment option for sleep apnea and snoring. This mouth guard is worn only while you sleep and fits like an orthodontic retainer. These oral appliances support your jaw, to help maintain an open upper airway even as your muscles relax.
- When we’re stressed and/or clench our teeth. When we’re dealing with stress, we can unconsciously clench our jaws and teeth during the day and during the night. With the additional stress that has come with a year and a half COVID-19, many dentists are seeing their patients break their teeth or crowns from clenching. Mouthguards provide wonderful protection from this!
Related Article: Stressed Out Oral Health: Gum Disease, Clenching and Grinding!
Who Needs a Mouthguard?
Mouthguards protect your smile and can be used by anyone – children and adults alike. In fact, with so many kiddos going back to school, it’s important to consider the importance of a mouthguard for sports – such as basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, gymnastics, etc.
Even if you or your child only participates in recreational activities, such as skateboarding or hiking, mouthguards are still a great option for protection to remove risk of oral injury.
Mouthguards are also common for adults or children who have Bruxism – or grind their teeth at night. At GPS Dental, we can create custom-fitting mouthguards that are comfortable and fit perfectly within your mouth for sleep without damaging your teeth!
Are You Grinding Your Teeth? Mouthguards are a Solution
Dr. Skrobanek can help prevent cracked and fractured teeth by designing a mouthguard or oral appliance to wear at night to keep you from clenching and grinding your teeth. We know there’s a dental health mental health link and thankfully, mouthguards are a wonderful way to protect your teeth at night. They can also help with sleep apnea and snoring. Each mouthguard will be custom-made by Dr. Skrobanek to fit your mouth comfortably and will keep your teeth separated so they don’t grind together.
There’s more good news: Custom mouthguards or oral appliance therapy is covered by many insurance plans and the team at GPS Dental can help answer any questions you may have about your coverage.
- Get Some Sleep: Custom Mouthguard for Sleep Apnea
- Are You Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep?
- How GPS Can Help with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Taking Care of My Mouthguard
Similar to a retainer, you can rinse your mouthguard daily with cold water and gently brush it with mild soap and a toothbrush. You can also:
- Clean it with cool, soapy water and rinse.
- Place your mouthguard in a perforated container to keep airflow while it’s stored. Or, if you have an acrylic mouthguard, you can keep it in fresh, clean water.
- It’s good to protect your mouthguard from hot temperatures – hot water, surfaces, etc.
- If you see any holes or wear and tear on your mouthguard, it is time to replace it.
- You can also bring your mouthguard with you when you visit us and we can examine it!
GPS Dental AND Mouthguards Protect Your Smile
Know you know more about how mouthguards protect your smile! It’s also important to stay up to date on your cleanings and routine visits with Dr. Skrobanek. In the meantime, having a strong and steady oral health routine – brushing twice a day and flossing once – is the best thing you can do for your oral health!
Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implants, sleep apnea, TMJ / TMD Treatment, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.