Mouthguards and Oral Appliances: Protect Your Smile & Your Health
Whether you’re an athlete, a snorer, or someone who suffers from sleep apnea, mouthguards and oral appliances can help keep your teeth and gums safe and healthy and even improve your overall health. At Chapko & Shah Modern Dentistry, our Belvidere dentists and dental staff offer a range of high-quality mouthguards and oral appliances to meet the needs of our patients. Explore the benefits of these devices and learn whether mouthguards or oral appliances are right for you.
Mouthguards and Oral Appliances: Knowing The Difference
While both mouthguards and oral appliances are designed to protect your teeth, they serve different purposes. Mouthguards are primarily used during sports to protect your teeth from being knocked out or damaged by a blow to the face. Mouthguards are typically made from a hard, durable material and are designed to fit snugly over your teeth. They’re available in a range of styles, from basic models to custom-fit designs.
Oral appliances, on the other hand, treat sleep apnea and snoring by repositioning the tongue and jaw to keep the airway open during sleep. Oral appliances are made from a soft, pliable material and are designed to be worn in the mouth while you sleep. Our Belvidere dentists custom-fit them to your teeth to ensure maximum comfort and effectiveness.
Benefits of Mouthguards and Oral Appliances
- Both mouthguards and oral appliances from Chapko & Shah Modern Dentistry are custom-fitted to provide maximum comfort and protection.
- Our expert dental team can provide personalized care and guidance to help you choose the best mouthguard or oral appliance for your needs.
- Mouthguards provide essential protection for your teeth during sports and other high-impact activities.
- Mouthguards can help prevent broken or chipped teeth, as well as injuries to the tongue, lips, and cheeks.
- Oral appliances can help treat sleep apnea and snoring, which can improve your overall health and quality of life.
- Oral appliances can also help reduce the risk of serious health complications associated with sleep apnea, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Getting Your Custom-Made Mouthguard or Oral Appliance
Here’s what you can expect when you come to our practice for a mouthguard or oral appliance:
During your initial consultation, one of our experienced dentists will examine your teeth and gums and discuss your needs and concerns. We’ll work with you to determine the best type of mouthguard or oral appliance for your needs, taking into account factors such as the type of activity you’ll be doing (for mouthguards) or the severity of your sleep apnea or snoring (for oral appliances).
Impressions and Measurements
Once we’ve determined the type of mouthguard or oral appliance you need, we’ll take precise impressions and measurements of your teeth and jaw. This ensures that your mouthguard or oral appliance will fit snugly and comfortably, providing maximum protection and effectiveness.
Using the impressions and measurements we’ve taken, our expert dental team will custom-fabricate your mouthguard or oral appliance using high-quality materials designed to last. We’ll make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the fit is just right and you’re completely comfortable.
After you’ve received your custom mouthguard or oral appliance, our team will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for and use it properly. We’ll also schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that your mouthguard or oral appliance continues to fit properly and provide the protection you need.
It’s important to keep your mouthguard or oral appliance clean and free of bacteria to prevent infection and maintain its effectiveness. Here are some common guidelines for maintaining your mouthguard or dental appliance.
- Rinse your mouthguard or oral appliance with cool water and mild soap after each use.
- Avoid using hot water, which can cause warping.
- Soak your mouthguard or oral appliance in a denture-cleaning solution or a mixture of water and vinegar for added cleaning power.
- Store your mouthguard or oral appliance in a clean, dry container to prevent contamination.
- Bring your mouthguard or oral appliance to your regular dental checkups to ensure it’s still in good condition and properly fitted.
Frequently Asked Questions
While over-the-counter mouthguards are sometimes better than nothing, they’re not as effective as custom-fit models. Additionally, a poorly designed mouthguard or oral appliance can cause discomfort, pain, and damage to your teeth and gums. If a mouthguard is too loose, it can slip and fail to provide proper protection. If it’s too tight, it can put too much pressure on your teeth and cause them to shift or crack.
An improperly designed oral appliance can also cause pain and discomfort in the jaw, head, neck, and shoulders and lead to dental problems down the road. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a custom-made mouthguard or oral appliance from a reputable dental practice to ensure maximum comfort, protection, and effectiveness.
If you suffer from loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, or other symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s important to see a dentist or doctor for evaluation. Our dentists can help diagnose your condition and provide the appropriate treatment, which may include an oral appliance.
No, it’s not recommended to wear a mouthguard and an oral appliance at the same time. If you need both devices, it’s best to wear them at different times as needed. Wear your mouthguard when you need to protect your teeth and wear your oral appliance when you’re sleeping.
Yes, children who participate in sports or grind their teeth can benefit from wearing mouthguards or oral appliances. In fact, it’s recommended that children who play contact sports wear mouthguards to protect their teeth and prevent injuries.
Children who grind their teeth may also benefit from wearing a nightguard to protect their teeth and jaw. Your dentist can help you determine the best type of mouthguard or oral appliance for your child based on their individual needs.