Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sports Mouthguards - Protect Your Teeth!

In many sports a mouthguard for the teeth is either required or encouraged.

There are several types of mouthguards on the market.

The most popular type of mouthguard is referred to as the "boil and bite" mouthguard made at home by purchasing a cheap rubber mouthguard, boiling it in water and biting into it to make a mold of your teeth.

4v Sports Mouth Guards

Dentists can also make mouthguards using a mold of the teeth

4w Sports Mouth Guards

A dentist-made mouthguard is a great idea for all types of sports. Football, basketball, soccer, hockey, and even sports like skateboarding or martial arts.

Well made mouthguards are comfortable. Comfortable mouthguards get used, and no mouthguard is effective if it is torn up, uncomfortable, or does not cover and protect the teeth.

4x Sports Mouth Guards

Protect your teeth from tooth grinding!

4y Bite Guards

Those that experience symptoms tend to seek out treatment and normally get a biteguard made to alleviate the problem.

However, the half that don't have symptoms don't perceive a problem because the damage to the teeth occurs so slowly over time that when looking in the mirror you don't notice from one week or month to the next. These people don't seek treatment and often turn down a recommendation to get a biteguard due to lack of perceived need.

Even furthering the problem is the fact that many dental insurances won't cover a biteguard so treatment is denied due to cost and we slowly watch people's teeth erode away.

4z Bite Guards

Biteguards are custom made for your mouth by using dental impressions. At the first appointment we take an upper and lower impression. Then it takes a couple days to get the biteguard made and then there is about a 30 min appointment to seat the biteguard and ensure it fits snug and is harmonious with your bite.

5a Bite Guards

Biteguards also have the added bonus as working as a retainer for your upper teeth as well. An investment in a biteguard is you have signs of tooth wear is a wise one. Biteguards may not be cheap, but they can be a FRACTION of the cost to fix worn down front teeth years later.

Bad Habits That Destroy Teeth

1) Soda Sippers/Swishers - low volume soda drinks that consume it slow. Typically people who do this may take 1-4 hours just to consume one can/bottle. The amount of time teeth are exposed to acid in soda sippers can break down enamel rapidly. If you are going to consume a soda, energy drink, or sports drink just consume and be done with it. But constantly bathing your teeth in acid over the long term will destroy them and cause cavities.

2) Brushing Too Hard / Toothpaste Abuse - if you constantly are changing toothbrushes or if you buy medium or hard bristle brushes, or if the bristles on your brush splay out to the sides, you are brushing too hard. The combination of this bad habit + the use of today's abrasive whitening toothpastes can lead to forced gum recession, sensitive teeth, and even enamel breakdown. Seems that in general people that do this have an obsession with a clean feeling in their mouth and that feeling is derived from abusing the gums. There is also a feeling that if they brush harder their teeth will be whiter, when actually the opposite occurs because as you wear away enamel, teeth get darker.

3) Fingernail Biting - Another bad habit that destroys the enamel on the front teeth and wears the teeth down. Teeth weren't designed to chew nails, and over time the nails keep growing back, but the teeth just get worn down never to grow back again.

4) Ice Chewers - Crunching on something hard that is at an extremely different temperature than the body is really hard on teeth. It's even harder on dental work, especially white fillings and sealants.

5) Pen/Pencil Chewers - Just like with fingernail biting, your front/side teeth take a beating when you do this. Doing anything teeth weren't designed to ultimately harms them.

6) Popcorn kernel crunchers - several people out there like to crunch on the slightly popped or un-popped popcorn kernels. This isn't much better than chewing on rocks. These things are EXTREMELY hard and I've seen several cracked molars on people with that habit.