At Bethesda Family Smiles, we are here to help you with any and all dental concerns. Proactive, preventative dental care is one of our favorite services to provide to our patients. This is because we love to see our patients take an interest in better caring for their smiles outside of the dentist’s office. One of the best tools you can use to protect your smile on a daily basis is a custom mouthguard. Learn more about custom mouthguards below.
Custom Mouthguards in Bethesda, MD
Dr. Khanna is an experienced general dentist in Bethesda, MD. She can meet your routine dental care needs for the maintenance of a healthy and stable smile. In addition to routine preventative care, Dr. Khanna is happy to provide custom mouthguards to patients who may need one. Custom mouthguards provide dental protection during contact sports, but they can also be used to address complex dental concerns like TMJ disorders and bruxism.
To get a custom mouthguard, we take impressions of your teeth. Every mouthguard is custom-made to the exact specifications of your smile. Custom mouthguards ensure that your mouthguard stays in without you needing to clench your teeth. In sports, this allows you to communicate with your teammates and get a quick drink of water without having to take out your mouthguard. Not having to clench your teeth also helps you avoid developing TMJ disorders.
Types of Mouthguards
Each type of mouthguard should only be used for its specific purpose. A sports mouthguard is made of a lighter, bulkier material because they’re designed to absorb shocks. The bulkier material spreads out the impact of a hit or trauma so that it doesn’t damage your teeth. Don’t try to use a sports mouthguard for teeth grinding or TMJ issues. The material will wear down and damage both the mouthguard and your teeth.
TMJ nightguards protect teeth from grinding and help relax your jaw muscles when you’re sleeping. They’re made of a thin, hard plastic that can withstand your teeth grinding together. You can’t use this type of mouthguard for sports as it won’t protect your teeth from any trauma. You’re still at risk of breaking or chipping teeth if you get hit during play.
Caring For Your Mouthguard
It’s essential to take care of your mouthguard so that it lasts as long as possible and keeps your teeth safe. Rinse your mouthguard out with warm water every time you wear it. Don’t use hot water, as it can warp the plastic of your mouthguard. Using a designated soft-bristled toothbrush, clean your mouthguard with antibacterial soap. Avoid using toothpaste, as it can be too abrasive and damage your mouthguard. This helps to prevent debris and plaque buildup in the mouthguard.
You should also deep clean your mouthguard once a week. If you use denture cleaner, follow the instructions on the cleaner to determine how long your mouthguard should soak in the solution. You can also use a combination of water and mouthwash. Your mouthguard should soak in that for around 30 minutes.
Store your mouthguard in a ventilated case when you aren’t wearing it. You want to ensure that the mouthguard dries and doesn’t keep a warm, wet environment. That kind of environment is a perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. The bacteria can be harmful enough to make you ill or even be life-threatening. A case also helps prevent your guard from getting lost or damaged.
Custom Mouthguard FAQs
Should I buy over-the-counter mouthguards?
Over-the-counter mouthguards take a one-size-fits-all approach to dental protection. While these options may work for some, many will find that over-the-counter mouthguards do not fit as snuggly as custom mouthguards. Our mouthguards are made specifically for your smile, giving you are more comfortable and secure fit.
What sports require the use of a mouthguard?
Many sports require, or at least recommend, the use of a mouthguard. If you participate in any extracurricular activity that may lead to unwanted dental damage, we suggest keeping a custom mouthguard on hand.
How can mouthguards help patients with bruxism?
Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is a common dental concern that affects patients of all ages. Teeth grinding often occurs at night while you sleep. Though a subconscious action, this may lead to worn-down teeth over time. A night guard, or a mouthguard worn at night, can be used to protect your teeth from grinding together while you sleep.
How can mouthguards help patients with TMJ disorders?
Patients who experience frequent jaw pain or tension headaches likely have a TMJ disorder caused by jaw joint inflammation. This often occurs when you are clenching your jaw together because of stress. With oral appliance therapy, a mouthguard will help patients with TMJ disorders relieve some of the pressure on their jaw joints.