Did your dentist our your family doctor suggest night mouthguards for you or your child to stop grinding your teeth at night and prevent damage to them? You are then faced with a difficult choice: should you buy one of the mouthguards stores and pharmacies sell, or should you invest in a custom-made mouth guard? The decision is all yours, but it may help to find out more about each option.
Night mouthguards are thinner than sport mouthguards and are made up of a more flexible plastic. Both night guards and sport guards look like smooth, u-shaped trays that cover the top row of teeth and prevent them from grinding and gnashing against the bottom row. Their prices are generally affordable but their efficiency varies.
A mouth guard’s efficiency depends on:
In order to ensure a better fit, many mouthguards rely on the “boil and bite” technique. Before use, you have to keep them in boiling water for a specific amount of time. This makes the plastic softer and pliable. This way, when you place it over your teeth and you bite it, the plastic will mould to your teeth and ensure a better fit.
Depending on the specifics of your teeth and mouth guard model, you may have to make further adjustments using razors or scissors. Since the plastic is quite thin, you risk biting through it when moulding the mouth guard. Also, due to the imperfect fit and the thin plastic, ready-made mouthguards do not last more than a couple of months.
It is not uncommon to hear a dentist recommending over-the-counter mouthguards to their patients, especially when the patients are children. Unfortunately, this happens not because these mouthguards are better, but because the respective paediatric dentists does not make custom mouthguards.
Custom fit mouthguards are made from thermoplastic material after a detailed mould of the patient’s mouth and teeth. They require experience, patience, and skills not every Calgary dentist possesses.
Although they are a little more expensive than their in-store alternative, they are certainly worth the investment. They provide an excellent fit, which means they are very comfortable to wear and much more durable. They can last up to several years. Depending on the patient’s needs, mouthguards for the lower teeth can be created as well and the design can vary for protection during sports or against nighttime grinding.
Calgary paediatric dentists warn that, even though custom fit kids mouthguards need to be replaced more frequently, they are still a better alternative to store bought mouthguards. Your child’s oral health is not something you can afford to neglect. The perfect fit and comfort ensured by custom solutions are just what your child’s fragile teeth need in order to grow strong, healthy, and great-looking.
Before you spend your hard-earned money on the poor quality ready-made mouthguards stores sell, discuss your needs with Dr. Patel, at the Outdoor Dental Calgary clinic. Or, better yet,
come for a Meet and Greet! You'll get to discover our friendly staff and the outdoors-oriented atmosphere meant to celebrate healthy life choices