Protection against injury and damage is just as important a part of your overall oral health as the routine care you receive in the dentist's chair. Sometimes, our habits or activities can put our oral health in harm's way.
Many sports and activities (such as football, boxing, or hockey) carry a certain amount of risk of injury to the mouth and jaw. And teeth grinding, known by its official name of “bruxism”, can harm the teeth and jaw and cause chips and cracks. Sports are healthy activities otherwise, and bruxism normally happens during sleep – so what's the answer?
Custom-made sports guards and bite appliances work to prevent these injuries and damage. Specially made for your mouth, they provide protection by acting as shock absorbers. With a sports guard, the flexible plastic takes the brunt of the shock of any blow to your mouth and jaw, much as a helmet protects your head. Bite appliances take the pressure from the grinding, protecting against chips, cracks, and long term damage to the jaw.
If you play contact sports, or have unexplained jaw pain or soreness after sleeping, ask your dentist if a custom-made sports guard or bite appliance might be right for you. It's a great investment in your long-term oral health.