Do you need to buy a mouth guard for unconscious teeth grinding while you’re awake or asleep, or a sports mouth guard for protecting your teeth when you play a contact sport? No matter what type you require, our mouth guard dentists can sort you out. Our clinic can design, manufacture and fit teeth grinding or sports mouth guards for kids and adults of all ages.
Teeth grinding at night when you sleep, or unconsciously throughout the day, wears down your teeth which can cause damage to them and your jaw joints, and when it comes to playing contact sport, there is a real risk of accidentally damaging your teeth through inadvertent jaw contact from another player. If your mouth area is hit with enough force, the blow can reverberate through the jaw, teeth and even the upper part of the skull.
Sport mouth guards are a MUST!
Everyone knows that playing sport can be an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle, but before you go off and start playing a physical contact sport, it is highly advised you arm yourself with a dentist fitted mouth guard to safeguard your teeth.
Blows to the lower face can increase the risk of oral injuries like front teeth fractures, splintered teeth and knocked out teeth. Impact to the jaw can also cause a person’s mouth to slam closed, damaging both the upper and lower rows of teeth when the jaws smack together.
Do kids really need to wear sport mouth guards?
Playing contact sports as a child coincides with tooth development, so yes, kids should wear sport guards when engaging in physical contact sports as once the damage is done, it often cannot be reversed.
It is estimated that a fifth of Aussie children have experienced “dental trauma” by the time they’re 14 years old. That means having at least one tooth knocked out, broken or displaced. As you only get one set of adult teeth, that kind of damage will stay with you for life. Even having a tooth dislodged can force the root into unnatural positions. Apart from being amazingly painful, this can lead to abscesses and bone damage that will stay part of the facial structure into the future.
The ages between 10 and 14 are when peoples’ dentistry settles into place. That doesn’t just mean the teeth, but skull and jawbone growth. After that, the orofacial structure stays the same for life.
Just as it’s a good time to have braces fitted, it’s the worst time to suffer facial damage, which is why our family dentists recommend anyone, especially kids in this age bracket partaking in a physical contact sport (including training and during games), only do so while wearing a custom fit sports mouth guard.
Should I wear a mouth guard for non-contact sports?
Sports Medicine Australia and the Australian Dental Association recommend wearing a sport teeth guard regardless of whether the sport played is considered a ‘contact sport’ or not.
At Mooloolaba Dental and Swell Dental, our local dentists can fabricate you the best, most comfortable and well-fitting, custom sport mouth guard to help protect your teeth (or your child’s teeth) in the case of any trauma being suffered to the face or jaw.
The fitted, dental mouth guard is completed over two Mooloolaba dentist appointments: During the first dental appointment we take a mould of your teeth and during the second appointment we ask you to test it to ensure it’s an accurate, comfortable fit.
Why shouldn’t I just get cheap mouth guards over-the-counter?
Dentist made mouth guards are designed to protect teeth against injury, acting as a buffer which absorbs the impact to the teeth and lessens any shocks your jaw may receive from playing a physical contact sport (and to protect from jaw clenching and teeth grinding). Over-the-counter guards are a cheaply made, one-size-fits-all solution that often don’t offer adequate protection.
As a specialised mouth guard dentist with many years of experience in seeing the costly results when people have opted for cheap ready-made mouth guards, we advise against this.
Boil-and-bite, over-the-counter, cheap mouth guards are less effective, thus increasing risk of injury, and can be rather uncomfortable as they don’t often conform and mould themselves well to a person’s bite and jaw anatomy.
On the other hand, properly made and fitted dental mouth guards avoid immediate, short and long-term distress. They work by distributing the force of any collision across the wider area. Thus, rather than one or two teeth bearing the brunt of the blow, the guard evens out the energy applied. Just as boxers wear big gloves, a mouth guard literally lessens the hit.
As far as studies go, various have concluded that a custom fit mouth guard does not affect performance, while over-the-counter, cheap mouth guards in some cases do, due to causing discomfort and/or breathing difficulties.
Bottom line is, everybody’s mouth is different, and so should every mouth guard be. Children, especially, will have different shaped mouths as they grow. A mouth guard needs to fit exactly right, or it could focus any impact rather than absorb it, causing further damage.
Do I need a sleep mouth guard?
A sleep mouth guard is an occlusal splint, more commonly known as a night guard which is made of hard-plastic, is clear in colour, and smaller than a sports guard. These are most commonly used as night mouth guards for teeth grinding (bruxism) relief as they are designed to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Sleep mouth guards combat bruxism – the grinding and clenching of teeth during the night to prevent further wear-and-tear of teeth and jaws.
Are You Ready to Make a Custom Mouth Guard Dentist Appointment?
If you or a family member grind your teeth unconsciously during the day or night, or play sport, especially a contact sport, then call our dentists on the Sunshine Coast to arrange an appointment.