A bite guard is a dental appliance custom-fit to a patient’s teeth. Bite guards serve varying purposes and are often recommended for use in patients of all ages. It is important that bite guards be professionally fit, rather than purchased over the counter, as this ensures maximum comfort and protection during wear. Professional dental guards are usually prepared in a dental lab using an oral impression taken in a dentist’s office. These guards are created uniquely to each patient to prevent discomfort, slippage or inadequate protection. There are many reasons why a dentist would prescribe a mouth guard to a patient. They include:
- To protect the teeth, tongue and cheeks during sports and high-impact activities
- To protect the teeth from nighttime grinding or clenching
- To protect your teeth if they are misaligned whether they are not level, crowded, spaced, uneven or tilted
Did you know?
Caring for a dental bite guard is simple. You’ll need to rinse it before and after every usage using a soft-bristled toothbrush, toothpaste and cold water. From time to time, cleanse it with cold water and a mild soap. When not in use, store your mouth guard in a hard, ventilated container and keep it away from hot temperatures that could cause your guard to warp. Dr. Madden offers a free, complimentary professional cleaning of your bite guard while our hygienist is cleaning your teeth. It is important to remember to bring your bite guard to every dental appointment for this free service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a bite guard?
You absolutely need to be fit for a custom bite guard if you participate in sports or activities that put your oral health at risk. These guidelines also apply to children, who often play sports like football or participate in activities like martial arts, which can cause tooth-related injuries. You may also need a bite guard if your dentist diagnosis you with bruxism, or tooth-grinding. Over time, grinding or clenching the teeth can lead to wear and irreversible damage. Sleeping with a bite guard can protect the teeth from these unwanted side effects. Majority of the population has misaligned teeth and suffer from grinding therefore majority of the population should sleep in a well fitted guard to protect against unwanted side effects such as facial pain, chipping teeth, staining and/or shortening teeth. A custom nite guard often allows patients to get a better night’s sleep.
What should I expect when being fit for a dental bite guard?
Being fit for a bite guard is simple. You’ll visit your dentist, who will take an impression of your teeth and send it off to a dental laboratory. The lab will carefully construct a durable and comfortable new bite guard that you can pick up at your dentist’s office in just days.
Will I need to return to my dentist after getting my new bite guard?
Yes. Although custom bite guards are made of durable materials and designed to last through many uses, they do need to be replaced from time to time particularly if your teeth change or if your dentistry changes. Dr. Madden executes thoughtful planning at the end of your treatment plan to have a nite guard made to protect your dental investment. Keep an eye on your bite guard, checking it frequently for wear. Also, bring it with you to your normal dental cleanings and check-ups for a professional inspection. Be sure to tell your dentist if your bite guard no longer offers an optimal fit or if it has become uncomfortable to wear. Dr. Madden offers a free, complimentary professional cleaning of your nite guard while our hygienist is cleaning your teeth. It is important to remember to bring your bite guard to every dental appointment for this free service.