Common Myths About Oral Guards You Should Know
Now and then you will hear about mouthguards and night guards for protecting teeth. Sportspersons are very familiar with these oral appliances, especially for high contact sports. Dentists in Port Charlotte work with many patients that are out seeking protection for their teeth. Even then, guards for mouth come in different types and sizes. This ensures that every person can get just the right mouth protector for their mouths.
This, however, has created a lot of room for people to speculate about them. The thing is, when people do not have accurate facts, they use half-truths as their only source of information. Fortunately today we bust some of the popular myths that exist about mouthguards.
What Are They?
Mouthguards are mouth protectors fashioned to protect the teeth and jawbones of patients. They are defined as special coverings worn over teeth that shield them from damage caused by external trauma. Usually, they are used for patients with a high risk of getting a traumatic injury.
Most mouth protectors cover only the upper teeth. This is because the upper front teeth are high-risk and easy to knock-out than other teeth. However, in some cases, a dental expert will customize one that covers both your upper and lower teeth.
Myths About Guards
Half-truths and false facts all lie in the same category when it comes to mouthguards. Some of the myths you should stop believing include the following:
- They aren’t effective for protecting teeth – this myth is founded on the concept that people still get hurt with mouthguards in place. Technically, this is partially true. The external impact will hurt you, sometimes even causing a concussion. However, mouthguards are very effective in protecting teeth from damage. What you can expect from them is that they will reduce the pressure and force from the impact. They, therefore, help reduce the chances of bone fractures in your jawbone, as well as knocked-out teeth.
- They are only for sportspeople – this is not a total lie. R. Boyd Gilleland DDS prescribes mouthguards to sportsmen often. However, that is not all they are used for in dentistry. Other than protecting teeth from traumatic injuries, mouthguards are used to treat bruxism. It is a dental problem that results from frequent and excessive grinding of teeth. It is a common problem for children, especially at night. In this case, mouthguards are used to prevent upper and lower jaw collisions at night which cause thinning of the enamel.
- Mouthguards protect only your teeth – this is not entirely true. Protectors for your mouth will shield your teeth from external impact, so they don’t fall off. Even then, they also protect your jawbone. You are less likely to have a fractured jawbone if you have a mouthguard on.
- They should cover all your molars to be effective – people believe that a mouth protector should cover all your teeth, including the molars for effective care. However, this is a myth. Mouthguards are made to protect the teeth that exposed to high impact. This is usually the front teeth and under the molars. If a mouth protector was to cover all your teeth, you would keep gagging, which is an uncomfortable feeling.
- Mouthguards cannot be used when you have braces – braces are used for orthodontic treatment. They are far different from mouthguards. However, braces cannot deter you from getting mouth protectors. You will have a comfortable experience with mouthguards regardless of your braces if you get them custom made. Customized mouthguards are fitted perfectly to your teeth, following the impressions taken by your dentist.
- Custom-fit mouthguards offer more protection than other types – customized mouth protectors are recommended by dentists for one main reason: they offer the perfect fit to patients. This translates to unmatched comfort that cannot be compared to other types of mouth protectors. However, this does not make them better than others. The other types of mouth protectors are equally as effective, only that they may not be as comfortable.
Some of the myths stated above are not that far-fetched. Instead, they are half-truths that do not completely explore the use of mouth protectors in dentistry. One way you can demystify these myths and get the factual truths is by talking to your dentist about your concerns.