In most cases, trauma to the teeth during sports can be prevented. Taking preventive measures to protect the teeth during contact-related sports can save you time, money, and discomfort in the future.
Most dentists recommend that patients of all ages wear mouthguards during sports to protect their teeth and gums. General dentist Dr. Justin Deckard offers custom-made mouthguards in our Washington, DC dentist office. Custom sports mouthguards are ideal for patients of all ages and offer superior comfort and protection.
Over-the-counter mouthguards can cause soft tissue irritation and may fall out during contact sports. Custom-designed mouthguards are created using your unique dental impressions and fit comfortably and securely over the teeth. Patients can focus on the sport at hand instead of clenching their jaw to keep their mouthguards in place. Properly fitting mouthguards allow patients to drink and speak while wearing their devices.
DC Precision Dentistry is a family-focused dental practice in Washington, DC. We proudly serve patients in downtown DC, Shaw, Navy Yard, and surrounding areas. We offer a full range of general dental care services to improve your natural smile.
Custom Mouthguards in Washington, DC
Anyone can benefit from a custom-designed mouthguard. A mouthguard that is tailored to your unique needs and measurements is less likely to fall out during contact sports, therefore minimizing your risk of injury.
Wearing a custom sports mouthguard can:
- Protect injury to your mouth’s soft tissues
- Prevent knocked-out teeth
- Cover veneers, crowns, fillings, and other dental restorations
- Protect teeth from chips, cracks, and breaks
If you have metal braces or an orthodontic appliance, you can wear a sports mouthguard. The mouthguard will help protect your teeth and gums and wires and brackets.
While you may consider a store-bought sports mouthguard over a professionally made one, boil-and-bite mouthguards will not sufficiently protect your smile. Because store-bought mouthguards do not offer a custom fit, they can slip or fall out of your mouth while playing sports. You want a custom-made sports mouthguard to fully protect your smile and help absorb shock from hits to the mouth or teeth.
Receiving a custom mouthguard requires two visits to our Washington, DC, dental office. Dr. Deckard will take molds of your teeth to ensure a quality design and fit. Once the mouthguard is fabricated, you can pick it up and test it immediately after your visit.
Mouthguards vs. Nightguards
Many patients may ask if they can use a sports mouthguard as a nightguard. Sports mouthguards and TMJ nightguards are not interchangeable. A sports mouthguard covers the teeth at the top of the mouth with a flexible plastic. TMJ nightguards cover the upper or lower teeth and protect the tooth’s chewing surfaces, typically with acrylic or similar materials.
It’s not a good idea to use a sports mouthguard as a nightguard. If you need a nightguard because you clench or grind your teeth at night, contact us.
Custom Sports Mouthguard FAQs
Is a custom mouthguard really worth it?
Many people notice that the price of custom mouthguards is much higher than those you can get over the counter. But you’re paying for quality. Custom mouthguards are much more comfortable because dentists make them fit you. They aren’t going to fall out, and you won’t have to worry about the tissue irritation that can come with ill-fitting mouthguards.
How long do custom mouthguards last?
If you do not take proper care of your mouthguard, it isn’t going to last as long. And it all depends on the circumstances, such as how often you wear it and how hard you are on the mouthguard. It’s important to make sure the mouthguard has the thickness of material it needs to really protect your teeth. Anywhere from six months to five years can be the life of a custom mouthguard.
How do I take care of my custom mouthguard?
After every use, be sure to rinse your mouthguard. Always use cool water, as warm or hot water can warp the material. Use a toothbrush and mild antibacterial soap to wash it more thoroughly. It can give it a deep clean weekly with denture cleaner and water or mouthwash and water. Leave it out to dry completely, and always store it in the case when you’re not using it.
Do dentists make custom mouthguards?
Yes, dentists can make custom mouthguards for their patients. Custom mouthguards offer better protection and comfort than over-the-counter alternatives. Dentists create these mouthguards by taking an impression of your teeth and using them to create a model. Then, the dentist will mold the mouthguard to fit the model, ensuring a perfect fit. Custom mouthguards are helpful for athletes or individuals who grind their teeth at night (bruxism).
What is the difference between a mouthguard and a night guard?
Dentists primarily design mouthguards to protect the teeth, lips, and jaw from injury during sports or physical activities. Mouthguards are usually thick and cover both the upper and lower teeth, providing a cushion against impact.
On the other hand, dentists and manufacturers design night guards to address teeth grinding (bruxism) or clenching during sleep. Night guards are usually thinner and more comfortable to wear overnight. In addition, night guards cover only the upper or lower teeth, creating a barrier that helps prevent tooth wear and damage caused by grinding.
Can a mouthguard shift your teeth overnight?
Yes, you can wear a mouthguard while you have braces. Most dentists highly recommend mouthguards for individuals with braces who participate in sports or physical activities. Wearing a mouthguard helps protect your braces, teeth, and soft tissues from injury or damage caused by impact.
It’s best to choose an orthodontic mouthguard specifically for braces. It will accommodate brackets and wires and allow for tooth movement. Consult your orthodontist or dentist for a recommendation or to create a custom orthodontic mouthguard.
Schedule An Appointment
Are you interested in a custom-made mouthguard? Visit our team at DC Precision Dentistry. Dr. Deckard can work with you to design a mouthguard that is right for you. If you would like to explore your options, visit our Washington, DC, dental office. To schedule an appointment, call (202) 851-7554 or request an appointment online.