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Mouth guards provide an inexpensive way to protect your glorious smile, open airways and prevent grinding during sleep, or preserve the benefits of orthodontic treatment. With such a wide range of uses, there are many varieties of mouth guards to choose from.
Mouth Safety on the Field
Athletes of every stripe, from pro to weekend warrior, wear mouth guards to protect teeth from trauma. The best mouth guards are the least intrusive, allowing normal speaking and breathing. These mouth protectors are usually fitted to protect teeth in the upper jaw, but lower jaw versions are available for those who have fragile dental work, such as orthodontic fasteners, bridgework or partial dentures.
Mouth guards do more than protect teeth. By cushioning sharp blows to the face, they can also prevent damage to the lips, tongue, cheeks, chin, jaw, joints and neck, and can even lessen the chance of an athlete suffering a concussion or brain hemorrhage.
Customized Guards for Comfort
Your experienced Contos Smile Center dentist can create a custom-fit mouth guard that will provide maximum protection and comfort. The first step is making an impression of your teeth that will be used to design your mouth guard. You can choose material that is flexible or more rigid, soft on the inside or even made of special material for patients who are allergic to acrylics.
In customizing your mouth guard, your dentist will consider your age and the sport you will be playing. Mouth guards for adolescents will need to be adjusted as the young player grows. And some sports, such as football, hockey and lacrosse, require extra protection.
Mouth guards are advised for less vigorous sports, as well. In addition to football, ice hockey and lacrosse, the American Dental Association advises the use of a mouth guard for soccer, field hockey, basketball, boxing, discus throwing, gymnastics, squash, handball, racquetball, rugby, martial arts, shot putting, skateboarding, skiing, skydiving, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling and even surfing.
Nighttime Benefits of Mouth Guards
Mouth guards play an important role off the field, too. Night guards, occlusal splints, bite splints and bite planes are used for both the upper and lower jaw, and are prescribed for conditions ranging from jaw and neck pain to worn tooth enamel and sleep apnea.
They are particularly effective for bruxism, the medical term for nighttime clenching of the jaw muscles and grinding of the teeth. Anterior deprogrammers are a variety of mouth protectors that are used in cases of severe bruxism to relax jaw muscles day and night. This class of mouthguard includes NTI (nociception trigeminal inhibitors), B (bruxism) splints and Kois appliances. These devices work by separating upper and lower teeth, often with something as simple as a plastic covering for the two front teeth.
For more information on mouth guards or to schedule an appointment in our Chicago office, call (773) 973-0531 or email Contos Smile Center today.
We are dedicated to providing the highest level of service and quality to our patient community by cultivating strong relationships, communicating thoughtful treatment solutions, and providing an enjoyable atmosphere, we can empower our patients to take ownership of their oral health.
We are committed to researching and offering state-of-the-art dental solutions in order to deliver the most advanced treatment options to our patients.