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Dr. Matteo Clinics

What are mouthguards?

A mouthguard is a protective device for the mouth that covers the teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, arches, lips and gums. A mouthguard is most often used to prevent injury in contact sports, as a treatment for bruxism or TMJ, or as part of certain dental procedures, such as teeth bleaching.

Why is wearing a mouthguard important?

Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports.

Types of mouthguards:

  • Stock mouth protectors are preformed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting good stores and department stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little or no protection. Dentists do not recommend their use.
  • Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The “boil and bite” mouth guard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure.
  • Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and fabricated in our in-house laboratory based on our specialists’ instructions. First, our specialist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is then molded over the model using a special material.

Generally, mouth guards cover your upper teeth only, but in some instances (such as if you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw), our specialist will recommend to make a mouth guard for the lower teeth as well. Our specialist will suggest the best mouth guard for you. An effective mouth guard should be comfortable, resist tears, be durable and easy to clean, and should not restrict your breathing or speech.