Mouthguards / Splints
Mouthguards are another preventative oral measure, as they are used to prevent sports related injuries, or inhibit the grinding of teeth at night. There are varying types of mouthguards available in Australia, which range from the cheap over-the-counter types to the professional custom-fit mouthguards. The ADA (Australian Dental Association) strongly recommends wearing a custom-fit mouthguard, as the over-the-counter varieties fail to provide sufficient protection against potential dental injuries. Mouthguards that are custom-fit by your dentist will also fit better than the over-the-counter mouthguards. A bespoke mouthguard will allow you to speak clearly, will not restrict your breathing and will not shift or fall out.
Protection against sports-related injuries
A custom-fit mouthguard that is fitted by a dentist at Ocean Reef Dental Surgery, provides superior protection against physically (and financially) damaging dental injuries, which may be the product of varying sporting or leisurely activities. Basically, a mouthguard is the best protection against physical impact or blows to the face and jaw, that would otherwise cause damaging (and costly) oral injuries.
Splints - Protection against teeth grinding
Night-guards or occlusal splints (a form of mouthguard) are also used as a protective measure against teeth grinding or patients who suffer from clenching (known as bruxism), which may also lead to TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) disorder. A night-guard is a removable acrylic oral device that is carefully moulded to fit the lower and/or upper arches of your teeth, that ultimately aims to decrease the amount of grinding pressure transferred to the teeth and arches. Your custom-fit mouthguards will not restrict your breathing when sleeping and will attempt to protect your teeth from your oral grinding habits. The splint will also guide your jaw into a neutral position, which relieves some of the pressure on the jaw.
How long will my mouthguard or splint last?
Custom-fit mouthguards or splints will generally last between three to five years, if cared for properly and pending on how often you use it. It is important to have your mouthguard assessed by your dentist at your regular check-up or hygiene appointment, to ensure it is still in optimal condition and still fits properly. You may need a new mouthguard or splint if, for example, your ‘adult’ or wisdom teeth come through.
How do I care for my mouthguard?
To ensure you mouthguard lasts, you should rinse under fresh, cold water after every use, store in a rigid/plastic container (often supplied by your dentist) and keep it out of direct sunlight, as mouthguards are quite malleable when heated. It is also advised that you wash your mouthguard with mouthwash to keep it sterile.
For one of our dentists to assess your current mouthguard or splint, or to produce a new one, please call (08) 9307 6700..