Do you or your child play contact sports like hockey, football, or lacrosse? You need to wear a sports mouthguard. Sports mouthguards are a general dental treatment that helps prevent broken, cracked, fractured, and even knocked-out teeth. Wearing a custom-made sports mouthguard offers many benefits to patients who play sports. At 615 Smile Design Studio, we can provide a custom mouthguard for patients in Nashville, TN.
Patients who wear custom-made mouthguards can prevent the need for cosmetic and restorative care by protecting their smiles. Custom mouthguards are also more comfortable to wear than store-bought options. Discover more about how sports mouthguards can benefit you.
Custom Sports Mouthguard in Nashville, TN
Unlike store-bought mouthguards, professionally-made mouthguards are customized to each patient. Store-bought mouthguards can easily fall out of the mouth. Some patients may need to clench their teeth to keep their mouthguards in place.
Constant clenching can add pressure to the joints and lead to problems like temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). Customized mouthguards are made of high-quality materials and stay in the mouth so patients can focus on their game. Patients can also drink and speak with their mouthguards in their mouths.
We will take digital dental impressions of the mouth and send these impressions to a dental lab, where they will create the custom mouthguard. Once the mouthguard is complete, patients will return for a fitting. We will also provide patients with a case to keep track of their mouthguards.
Can Mouthguards Treat TMD?
We do not recommend sports mouthguards for TMD. However, our dental office can provide nightguards if patients experience bruxism, jaw pain, and headaches due to TMD. Although sports mouthguards and nightguards seem similar, they are made of different materials and address other problems.
Sports mouthguards are made of flexible, rubber-like plastic that covers the front of the upper and lower teeth. Alternatively, nightguards are made of harder acrylic material that protects teeth chewing surfaces.
Sports Mouthguards Vs. TMJ Nightguards
Both of these options can be custom-made to fit your smile perfectly. However, they should only ever be used for their specific purpose. Sports mouthguards are made of a lighter, bulky material. This material absorbs the shock and trauma from a hit to the face while playing contact sports. If you wear this type of mouthguard when you’re grinding your teeth, it won’t offer much protection. Your tooth grinding will wear through the material quickly. It won’t be helpful for sports anymore.
A TMJ nightguard is made of thinner, more rigid plastic. It protects your teeth from grinding against each other and wearing them down prematurely. Teeth grinding can also chip or break your teeth because of the pressure they’re under. Wearing this type of mouthguard while playing sports will not provide much more protection than having no mouthguard. You’ll be at a high risk of tooth damage.
How to Care for Your Custom Mouthguard
Your mouthguard needs to protect your smile. But it can’t do the job properly if you don’t care for the device.
Cleaning Your Mouthguard
When you wear your mouthguard, rinse it with cool or warm water. Never use hot water to clean your mouthguard, as this can warp the material. Rinsing gets rid of debris and bacteria from building up on the mouthguard.
You’ll have to do more than rinse your mouthguard to clean it. Use mild soap and water to scrub the mouthguard at least once a day gently. There are special soaks that you should also use around once a week for deep cleaning. You can use certain denture cleaners or specific ones designed to clean mouthguards. Sterilizing helps to prevent bacteria buildup, which can make you sick.
After you clean your mouthguard, it needs to dry properly. Don’t immediately put it into an environment without good ventilation. Leave it on a towel to dry, or store it in a ventilated carrying case. Bacteria love nothing more than a warm, wet environment. They multiply quickly, and you can become severely ill using a mouthguard laden with bacteria. A carrying case also ensures that you don’t lose the guard.
Preventing Damage and Bacterial Buildup
Don’t share your mouthguard with anyone. We specifically create mouthguards that fit your smile. Someone else wearing it can damage the guard and make it less effective. It can also lead to bacteria sharing and developing illnesses because of that bacteria.
You shouldn’t eat with your mouthguard in, either. Drink only water when you have the guard in. Eating with it in can damage the mouthguard, no matter which material it’s made of.
Lastly, don’t leave your mouthguard in direct sunlight. It shouldn’t be in an extremely hot environment. Heat warps the material, and it won’t fit how it should. Store it in a cool, dry place when you’re not wearing it. Those are the best conditions to prevent any damage to the guard.
Custom Mouthguard FAQs
Can sports mouthguards treat TMJ disorders?
Do not use a sports mouthguard if you have symptoms of TMD. Sports mouthguards are made of different materials and do not protect the tooth’s chewing surfaces. Nightguards and mouthguards cannot be used interchangeably. A nightguard uses more rigid plastic and protects the chewing surfaces of the tooth. Mouthguards cover the front of teeth and prevent damage to the smile.
Are custom mouthguards worth it?
Custom-made sports mouthguards are worth it. We use high-quality, comfortable materials to create mouthguards that protect the teeth, gums, and orthodontics. Mouthguards are customized to your smile, whether to preserve your natural teeth or cover metal braces and other orthodontic appliances.
Can you sleep with a sports mouthguard?
No, you cannot sleep with a sports mouthguard. Sports mouthguards are meant to protect your smile when playing sports. We recommend wearing a TMJ nightguard only if you experience nightly teeth clenching and grinding or jaw pain.
How long do sports mouthguards last?
It’s recommended to replace your sports mouthguard every season. We often recommend replacing sports mouthguards if they seem misshapen or damaged. Children may need new mouthguards as they lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth emerge.
Contact Us Today For a Mouthguard
Do you need a new sports mouthguard for this upcoming season? Request a dental consultation with us online or call (615) 637-2878 to get a custom mouthguard in our Nashville, TN, dental office. Let us know if you have any questions about your sports mouthguard; we will gladly help.