What are Mouthguards, Types, and How to Keep them Clean?

What are Mouthguards, Types, and How to Keep them Clean?

September 1, 2022

You have probably heard of mouthguards, but what is a mouthguard? And do you need one?

A mouthguard is an excellent investment in your protection and peace of mind. Although it cannot completely prevent every sports injury, it will significantly reduce the chance of dental injuries and pain. These devices should be standard equipment for athletes starting at an early age. The most common sports that involve mouth injuries include soccer, basketball, volleyball, hockey, and football.

What are the Types of Mouthguards?

There are three main types of mouthguards.

  • Boil and bite

This mouthguard is made from thermoplastic, softened by boiling water, and then inserted into the mouth to form the teeth’s shape. These mouthguards are the least expensive option. Both types help protect the teeth from damage and prevent TMJ.

  • Stock mouthguards

These mouthguards come in three sizes, small, medium, and large. They are not customized but can be purchased at the pharmacy or drug store. This type of mouthguard is less expensive but does not fit as well as the custom-made version. You must also choose one that fits snugly since ready-made guards are often too loose or tight. If your mouth guard is not custom-fit, it may fall out or cause breathing problems.

  • Custom-made mouthguards

Customized mouthguards are a type of sports mouthguard customized to the individual’s teeth and jaw. It is a crucial piece of equipment for athletes who participate in contact sports, such as football, rugby, or hockey. The goal is to protect their teeth from injury by blocking the contact from their opponent’s fist or elbow.

Our Youngtown dentist will get the impressions of your teeth to create a customized mouth protector.

What is the Ideal Way to Clean a Mouthguard?

There are several ways to properly care for mouth guards. First, keeping them in a ventilated case when not in use is important. You should also keep the mouth protectors out of reach of children since they tend to chew on them. Also, avoid exposing them to high temperatures or hot water. This way, you won’t have to worry about them getting wet.

The best way for caring and clean your mouthguard is to do it regularly. Unlike most sports equipment, mouthguards aren’t meant to last forever. Their shape can change over time, so you should replace them once every few months or a year.

Also, when cleaning a mouthguard, soak it in water for about five to ten minutes or use a mouthguard cleaner to remove plaque and bacteria. Finding these cleaners at your local drugstore and grocery store is easy. Another way to clean your mouthguard is to soak it in hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse the mouth protector thoroughly and store it in a ventilated case.

You should rinse your mouthguard with water to remove bacteria and debris before and after wearing it. Rinsing your mouthguard before wearing it will also prevent the formation of bacteria and odor.

How Often Should a Night Guard Be Replaced?

Depending on how heavy you grind, you should replace your mouthguard every six months. The mouth devices can wear out and affect the teeth, so visit a cosmetic dentist near you for a replacement often to enhance the protection.

Do You Have to Clean Your Mouthguard Every day?

Many people think that since it’s not in your mouth all the time, you don’t have to worry about it. But that’s not true! Your mouthguard can harbor a lot of bacteria, which can lead to infections or other problems, which is why you need to clean them every day. Use a soft toothbrush and scrub it gently. Rinse it well afterward, and then store it in a clean, dry place. You can also buy special denture cleaners designed specifically for mouthguards or consult a dentist near you on which cleaner is ideal.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Agua Fria Dental for more information about mouthguards and how they work.