Just as helmets shield your head from injuries, mouthguards prevent trauma to your mouth, face, cheeks, gums, and jaws. Two broad categories of custom guards are available: night guards and sports guards, both of which come in unique designs. While they perform the same purpose, they do so differently. Therefore, choosing a custom mouthguard at Dental Care South in Tuscaloosa depends entirely on your needs and preferences.

Sports Mouthguards

You can always find a reputable dental office to get sports guards near you. Dentists recommend wearing custom sports guards if you engage in recreational and competitive sports characterized by contact, collision, and impact. These devices are tailored to protect the whole mouth, including your cheeks, jaw, gums, and teeth. Sports guards comprise a thick plastic cover that encases your teeth from front to back and conceals the gums to provide extra protection. How do they work? They protect your mouth by spreading the collision impact over a large surface area instead of letting a single tooth absorb the impact and get damaged in the process.

According to the American Dental Association, the following sporting activities require you to wear a sports mouthguard:

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Rugby
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Ice hockey
  • Field hockey
  • lacrosse

Night Guards

Teeth clenching, grinding, and bruxism problems that mostly occur at bedtime could significantly damage your teeth and cause pain and discomfort to the jaw and gums. To remedy this, our dentist in Tuscaloosa may recommend wearing a night guard. Doing so imposes a physical barrier between the lower and upper teeth, preventing them from grinding against each other. The night guards near you comprise a thin, robust plastic material that absorbs the grinding and clenching forces, enabling you to have uninterrupted sleep and wake up feeling no pain. Note that night guards only cover your teeth’ biting or grinding surface. For this reason, they are more comfortable compared to bulkier sports mouthguards.

Custom-Made Mouthguards

The good news is that anyone can get mouthguards regardless of their age because your dentist will be able to design a custom fit for you. First, they will take a mold or impression of teeth. Next, they will send the mold to a dental laboratory, where it is copied to create a mouthguard. To replicate the mold, the laboratory technicians use superheated plastic and then cool it to ensure the durability of the guard. Once your mouthguard is ready, your dentist fits it inside your mouth and inspects it to see if it is the perfect fit. They may make adjustments to ease any discomfort.

Here are some of the benefits associated with custom-made night or sports mouthguards:

  • Increased comfort
  • Individualized fit
  • Increased safety to your mouth

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Bruxism?

This condition is characterized by unconscious clenching or grinding of your teeth, usually during bedtime. Left untreated, bruxism could cause damaged teeth, jaw disorders, headaches, and TMJ/TMD, among other dental health issues.

Are Night Mouthguards Uncomfortable and Bulky?

While this has been an issue in the past, technological advancements have seen to it that night mouthguards now come in a sleek design that is still effective at absorbing the grinding and clenching forces. Therefore, you need not worry about going to sleep with a bulky device in your mouth.

Am I Suffering From Bruxism?

Do you suspect you may be having bruxism? Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Tension headaches
  • Damaged teeth or restorations
  • A severe jaw or facial pain

You could also experience disorders in your TMJ joints located at the back of your jaw close to your ears. A typical example is hearing a clicking sound whenever you close or open your mouth.

Custom Mouthguards Near You

Night guards and sports guards are crucial protective equipment that shield your teeth from potential damage. In addition, they save you from costly treatments that could result from trauma to your mouth. If bruxism is taking its toll on you, you need not suffer in silence. At our dental office, we provide affordable custom-fit night guards near you to safeguard your teeth. In addition, we offer sports guards near you to enable you to walk into the field with confidence. To schedule your appointment with our dentist in Tuscaloosa, call us today. 

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