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Scott E. Keith, DDS, MS, FACP
Quincy Gibbs, DDS

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What to Know About Your New Mouth Guard

Posted on 6/15/2024 by Front Desk
An oral appliance retainerCongratulations on taking the important step of investing in your oral health with a new mouth guard! Whether you're a dedicated athlete, someone who grinds their teeth at night, or simply want to protect your smile, a mouth guard is a valuable tool. But with a new piece of equipment comes questions and adjustments. Here's a guide to help you get the most out of your mouth guard and ensure a comfortable, protective experience.

Types of Mouth Guards

Before diving into care and usage, it's important to understand the different types of mouth guards available.

Caring for Your Mouth Guard

•  Over-the-counter mouth guards: These are readily available at most drugstores and come in various sizes and styles. While affordable and convenient, they often offer less precise fit and protection compared to custom-made options.
•  Boil-and-bite mouth guards: These require dipping the guard in hot water to soften it, followed by biting down to mold it to your teeth. They offer a more personalized fit than over-the-counter options but may not be as comfortable or as secure.
•  Custom-fitted mouth guards: These are created by a dental professional using an impression of your teeth. This ensures an exact fit, providing superior comfort, protection, and retention. While typically the most expensive option, custom-fitted mouth guards are often preferred by athletes and those with specific dental needs.

Proper care is essential to ensure your mouth guard remains effective and hygienic. Here are some key tips:

Adjusting to Your Mouth Guard

•  Clean your mouth guard after each use: Rinse it thoroughly with cool water and mild soap. Avoid using hot water, which can warp the guard.
•  Brush your mouth guard regularly: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to remove debris and plaque buildup.
•  Soak your mouth guard periodically: Use a cleaning solution specifically designed for mouth guards. This can help remove bacteria and keep the guard fresh.
•  Store your mouth guard properly: Keep it in a sturdy case when not in use to protect it from damage and dust. Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

It's normal to feel some initial discomfort when wearing your new mouth guard. Give yourself a few days to adjust, and if any sharp edges or pressure points persist, consult your dentist or the provider who made the guard for adjustments.

If you experience excessive saliva buildup, try wearing your mouth guard for shorter periods initially and gradually increasing the wear time. You can also experiment with different breathing techniques to find what works best for you.

Remember, a proper fit is crucial for both comfort and protection. If your mouth guard feels loose, falls out easily, or causes discomfort, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from a dental professional.

Benefits of Wearing a Mouth Guard

Investing in a mouth guard offers numerous benefits for your oral health and overall well-being:

•  Prevents sports-related injuries: This is crucial for athletes participating in contact sports like football, basketball, and hockey, protecting teeth from impacts and blows to the face.
•  Reduces teeth grinding (bruxism): If you grind your teeth at night, a mouth guard can help prevent tooth wear, jaw pain, and headaches.
•  Protects teeth during sleep: Even those who don’
•  t grind their teeth can benefit from a night guard. It protects your teeth from accidental clenching or grinding during sleep.
•  Maintains dental work: If you have crowns, bridges, implants, or other dental restorations, a mouth guard can shield them from damage.

Remember, your mouth guard is an investment in your oral health. By properly caring for it and wearing it as recommended, you’ll maximize its protective benefits and enjoy a healthy, confident smile for years to come.

For further guidance and personalized recommendations, don’t hesitate to consult with your dentist. They are your partners in maintaining optimal oral health and selecting the right mouth guard for your specific needs.
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Dr. Keith and Dr. Petrini have been proudly serving the Grater Bay Area community for many years and pride themselves on performing excellent services in general dentistry and dental implants.
Dental Implant Center at Walnut Creek, 1111 Civic Drive, Suite 320 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 - (925) 266-3550 - - 7/19/2024 - Key Phrases: dental implants Walnut Creek CA -