As you probably know by now, there are tons of ways how to protect your teeth, gums, and mouth. But when it comes to physical damage, however, the best mouth guard is still the most popular choice for everyone. This versatile item can provide a barrier that can cushion the damaging impact that can get to your teeth and gums, so a lot of folks find them necessary to wear during certain activities.
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Think you need a mouth guard? Find out here and maybe even find the right match for your needs.
Mouth Guards: What You Need to Know in Finding the Best One for You
While mouth guards are already widely used for various purposes nowadays, it’s believed that it was created for the sport of boxing. It’s suggested that the earliest mentions of this device hail back to 1890, when British dentist Woolf Krause started to fashion mouthpieces for boxers.
As most competitors of the said sport only used rudimentary means in protecting their mouth during their matches, Krause crafted the first “mouthpiece”. This allowed boxers to stop using cotton, sponge, tape, and even wood to keep their teeth in place during their fights.
Krause’s mouthpieces proved to be more practical than their older DIY versions. They allowed boxers to focus on their fight better. They were also useful in protecting the athletes’ mouths.
His son, Philip Krause, being a dentist and amateur boxer at the same time, was said to refine the said design. It’s believed that he created the first reusable mouth guards which he called ‘gum shields’.
Aside from the Krauses, though, there are other specialists that also created their own versions of mouth guards at around this time. London dentist Jacob Marks claimed to have made one in the early 1900s. American dentist Thomas A. Carlos is believed to have crafted a similar device in 1916. Chicago dentist, E. Allen Franke, also claimed that he had already made several mouthpieces by 1919. There could be other similar claims out there which go to show that a lot of experts have seen the need for one.
Mouth guards weren’t widely accepted in the sport, however. These professionally made devices once caused wearers to lose their matches just because they seemed to offer an unfair advantage. However, the heads of the sport saw eventually realized its potential. So by 1927, boxing already recognized the necessity of wearing mouth guards.
A few decades later, athletes from other contact sports also started wearing mouth guards. Public attention was drawn when media outlets reported on the dental health situation of many contact sports athletes. This also prompted the American Dental Association (ADA) to take a closer look at the device. They found their benefits and promoted their use. Soon enough, mouthguards were required in other sports, including school sports.
Other Common Uses of Mouth Guards
The mouth guard may have been created for sporting use but it’s certainly not just for physical activities. Sure, about 84% of folks need it to prevent sporting injuries but there are lots of other occasions where these items will prove to be very useful for you. Some of these include the following:
Prevention of teeth grinding or clenching
Bruxism is a common condition wherein the sufferer grinds, clenches, or gnash their teeth. It can happen both while awake and asleep, so there’s a chance that the patient will have little control over it. It can wear out your tooth enamel, damage the teeth, disrupt the quality of your zzz’s, and cause various kinds of pains and aches.
Wearing a mouthguard can help cushion the impact created when clenching or grinding your teeth. This lessens the amount of damage your teeth and mouth will receive from the condition.
Temporomandibular joint disorders or TMD refers to the conditions that affect the joint that connects the jaws to the temporal bones of the skull. Experts haven’t determined what causes such but various injuries and health issues can lead to this ailment. It often causes serious discomfort to and swelling of the face. It can also make moving your jaw difficult.
Mouth guards help in addressing this condition as it holds the teeth and jaw in their proper place.
Sleep apnea treatment
Mouthguards are also said to be very handy for sleep apnea sufferers. It can help keep their air pathways open during sleep so you don’t have to worry about anything blocking your airways and causing you to stop breathing temporarily when you get some zzz’s.
It should be noted, however, that mouth guards might be able to address all sleep apnea cases. Some patients require a breathing machine at night to help them sleep, so a simple mouthpiece might not be enough to handle their condition.
Teeth bleaching tool
Nowadays, mouth guards also double duty as whitening tools. They don’t necessarily function as protective devices in such cases, though. They only really make sure that your teeth soak in the bleaching solution.
Mouth protection for those with braces
If you can get a good toothbrush for braces, you can also expect to find mouthguards for those who wear braces. It’s highly recommended that you do so when engaging in contact sports as the braces can create cuts and other kinds of injuries to the insides of your mouth. Wearing mouth protection can help prevent your braces from creating additional serious injuries.
Types of Mouth Guards
Another crucial thing to know about these products is that they come in different formats. This variety offers you options to ensure that you’ll conveniently protect the insides of your mouth. These are the three types available today:
Stock mouth protectors are the ones readily available in department stores and sporting goods stores. They’re pre-formed and can be used as is. However, as they have standard sizing, dentists do not recommend their use as they can affect the growth of your teeth.
Boil-and-bite mouth protectors offer a better fit than the stock options. As they’re made with thermoplastic, they can follow the contours of your teeth and mouth if you wear them after boiling. This ensures that follow your dentition properly and won’t misalign your teeth. They’re also easily available so they’re deemed as better alternatives to stock mouthpieces.
Custom fit mouth protectors offer the best fit of all as it is made specifically to fit your teeth. However, they’re also more expensive than the two, so be ready to invest a little if you intend to get one of these.
Do You Need a Mouth Guard?
While the list above contains only a few different uses of mouthguards, there are more good reasons for a lot of folks to wear one of these devices. According to the ADA, everyone is recommended to wear a mouthguard when they engaging in any recreational activity that can cause an injury to the mouth.
What to Look for in the Best Mouth Guard
With the sheer amount of options available to you, it might be confusing to choose just one. So to help you find the right piece to help keep your mouth from getting injured, make sure to keep these things in mind:
Never compromise the fit.
If there’s one thing that you should keep in mind about these products is that you should never compromise their fit no matter what. It might be tempting to get the first mouthguard you find at the drugstore but that won’t be good for your teeth.
Ill-fitting mouthguards can hurt your dentition in many ways. Wearing them for prolonged periods can misalign your teeth and bend it out of its natural shape. Some even say it can also cause gum recession. It can also hurt your teeth since it doesn’t fit well.
Aside from these, an ill-fitting mouthpiece can also be very uncomfortable. It might even make it difficult for you to speak and breathe. So if there’s one thing that your mouth protector should have, it absolutely has to be perfectly fitted to your teeth.
Consider purpose-specific mouthguards if you’re wearing them to play contact sports.
While you’ll find tons of general-use mouthguards in the market today, you can also find best mouth guards for sleeping and ones made specifically for various sports. In some cases, the best mouth guard for teeth grinding might not necessarily be the best mouth guard for basketball. By considering the actual purpose of your mouth guard, you might be able to assess which one can give you the best kind of protection for the activity you intend to engage in.
Be very particular about the amount of protection you can get.
The different uses of mouth guards also require varying kinds and amounts of protection. By being very particular about the amount of protection a product offers, you can be sure that it can properly keep your mouth safe from injuries.
This is why purpose-specific mouthguards are very good options for most folks. As they are made to handle the demands of specific uses, they can effectively address the conditions that can put your mouth at risk.
Make sure that your mouth guard is tear-resistant and is highly resilient. It should be able to take some beating so you can be sure that it will be able to protect the insides of your mouth.
Only go for products that are made with safe materials.
Since you will be putting these items in your mouth for long periods of time, the best mouth guard will always be the ones with materials that won’t harm your health. These will ensure that you won’t get irritated or hurt in any way because of their use.
Look for something that is easy to clean.
Keeping your mouthguard clean is an absolute must if you want to make the most out of it. If they’re not maintained properly, they can affect your oral health and cause more problems. Opt for a product that won’t require you to perform a complicated cleaning process. This way, you can be sure to actually clean your mouthguard and keep it in great shape.
Keeping your mouthguard clean is just as important as working to improve dental hygiene using quality water flossers. It’s a simple addition to your routine but it will have a huge impact on your health, so you have to make sure to do it.
7 of Today Best Mouth Guards
Ready to start shopping for a mouth protector? Here are 7 of the best mouth guards available today that you can choose from.
There are so many reasons why the Mouth Guard from ProDental is a top choice by a lot of users today. For one, it’s a boil-and-bite kit which helps you both cover convenience and effective fit. This already gives you a very good reason to try this product out.
By being a boil-and-bite kit, you can easily use this product at home and ensure a great fit. This means that it can already provide your teeth some protection without having to spend a lot of money in the process of having a mouth guard made especially for you.
Despite its DIY design, though, you can still be guaranteed of expert support when you need it. Aside from being designed by dentists, it also offers dentist support during the molding and fitting process. Combined with its easy adapt design, you can also be sure that you can achieve a secure fit.
And since it is made of safe and BPA-free polyvinyl material, you can also be certain that it won’t hurt your system despite its prolonged wear. It also guarantees your safety as it’s built to last. It can withstand some wear and tear since it’s rated as a mouth guard for clenching, athletic use, and even as a dental whitening tray.
Made in the USA, you can be certain that it’s very durable. It can last from 3 to 12 months, depending on the severity of your bruxism.
Another amazing thing that this product offers is their Free Replacement policy for mismold items. It’s completely possible to get the wrong fit on your first use, so it can be a waste of mouth guard. Luckily, the company will really make sure that you get the perfect fit with their products as they will also replace your item for free if you mismold. So combined with their dentist support, you can really be sure that you’ll get a perfect-fitting mouth guard from this kit.
Each purchase of this item gives you three mouth guards so you don’t have to keep buying to make sure that you’ll always have mouth protection on hand.
A point of contention, however, about this product is its thickness. It measures about 3mm thick, so it can be thicker than what a lot of people are used to wear as a nightguard. It can also be a bit too big for some wearers. However, if you’re planning to use it for a physical activity, then it might be a good pick for you.
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If you want to protect your mouth from injuries during sports or while you sleep without breaking the bank, the Dental Duty Professional Dental Guard is a nice choice. This product comes with four mouthguards in one package. This can give you a few months or even years of uses with just a single purchase.
But as a product’s value is not just about its price tag, you might be glad to know that this product has a lot more to offer. For one, this boil-and-bite mouth protector is very lightweight. So if you don’t think you’ll be comfortable with something weighing down your gums, this can be a great choice for you.
This item is generally made as a nightguard so you can keep your pearly whites in perfect shape despite your nighttime bruxism. According to the manufacturer, you can also use it for sports and as a whitening tray. However, some find it to be too soft. While that might make it more comfortable to wear, others don’t think it’s the best option for serious athletic use. It can, however, be a great multi-use whitening tray.
Another strong suit of this product is its versatility. It’s remoldable, so if you found it tricky to mold into your ivories on your first go, you can just try again with the same piece. Each piece is also trimmable, so if you have a small mouth, it can still be a good fit. With its highly moldable material, you’re also guaranteed that it can fit any alignment.
Last but not the least is its carrying case. This product comes with a free hygiene case for storing your mouthguard in when it’s not in use. It’s a very convenient addition to the product that a lot of people appreciate to have.
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Those who are looking for the best mouth guard for sporting activities should certainly check out the Sisu Mouth Guards Aero Custom Fit Sports Mouthguard. This product offers excellent mouth protection without crowding the inside of your mouth so it can be an excellent choice for many.
Made to be a great option for all kinds of sports, this item stands out mostly for its unique design and engineering. Unlike the other items on this list, it won’t come in the regular mouthguard shape. It’s flat so you’ll need to bite on a specific area then fold the other parts up to mold it into your teeth. This guarantees the perfect fit when done correctly.
If you’re scared of mismolding this product, fret not. Sisu has released their own tutorial to help you mold their product perfectly on your teeth. This should help you do a good job on your first try.
Further establishing its versatility is its size. It’s suitable for ages eleven and above, so it can easily be a great go-to pick for an active family.
Its thinness is also something worth noting. It’s 50% thinner than most mouth protectors but it doesn’t mean that it will put your teeth at risk because this product isn’t just about fancy design. It’s also very durable. With its Diffusix technology, it can absorb up to 94% of energy from strikes. It’s also said to be about 30% stronger than other mouthguards made with conventional materials.
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Another solid option for those who need mouth protection when playing sports would be the Shock Doctor Max Airflow Mouth Guard. With the popularity of this brand, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find this product in this list as it offers a great job in providing mouth protection.
This product is actually more than just a mouthguard. It can easily be the best football mouthpiece as it has a lip protector as well. This provides more coverage for athletes and guarantees better protection overall.
As it appears to be very bulky, some worry about how comfortable it can be to wear. Fret not, though, because it won’t make you feel like your mouth is crowded. It’s designed with the Maximum AirFlow breathing channels so you won’t have to struggle breathing while you play.
It should be noted, however, that this product isn’t a boil-and-bite piece. It’s a stock mouth guard that is made from medical grade silicone. So even if it’s not molded on your teeth, it can still follow the contours of your teeth while you’re wearing it.
This product is also very easy to clean so you don’t have to worry about it. You can either put it in boiling water or pop it into the dishwasher for sanitation.
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Those who are very particular about the tools and devices use might find themselves drawn towards The Doctor's Advanced Comfort NightGuard. As this product is designed by a team of dentists, it guarantees excellent performance and protection to users.
What does this product offer? For starters, it has a patented two-layer design that is made to cushion and absorb impact. It balances the surfaces for your comfort as it has a softer upper layer and a firm bottom layer to help minimize the damage bruxism can cause.
To further guarantee your comfort, this boil-and-bite mouth protector also has slanted upper areas. This keeps the material away from the lips and gums so it won’t rub against the inside of your mouth.
This item comes with a carrying case so you have a place to store it in when it’s not in use. This makes this product a handy pick for many as you don’t have to worry about where you put your mouth protector anymore.
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The WunderDent Professional Dental Night Guard is another option you can go for if you want a reliable mouthguard. It’s more popularly marketed towards those with night bruxism, promising to help you sleep better.
There are also lots of great things you can expect from this product. At the top of this list is its great construction. Aside from being available in two sizes, this boil-and-bite item is also very easy to customize. You can trim it to fit small mouths. It’s also remoldable so you don’t have to worry about mismolding on your first attempt to get it to fit inside your mouth.
It’s also very durable. Made in Germany, you can count on its technology to withstand heavy wear and tear.
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Deemed by many as the best mouth guard there is, the J&S Dental Lab Dental Mouth Guard is a fully customizable mouth guard that you can purchase online. This product offers an option that can rival professional-made night guards. It guarantees excellent long-lasting durability that can withstand serious teeth clenching and grinding.
While this product is considered as an investment, it’s still more convenient and even more affordable than seeing a local dentist to get a custom-sized mouth guard. It’s a lot like doing the latter as professionals will still craft your mouth guard.
This is why you shouldn’t expect it to be like the other items in this list as the kit you’ll get won’t be the mouth guard. It’s just a molding kit that you have to send back after following the instructions carefully. J&S Dental Lab will then use it to create your customized mouth guard. It typically takes 2 to 3 weeks for you to receive your night guard. So if you’re in a rush, you might want to get a temporary item first while you wait for this custom mouthpiece.