The mouth guard
Unfortunately, neither parents nor children pay enough attention on preventing sport injuries. Foot protectors, elbow protectors and head protectors are widely used today but we do not pay enough attention on protecting the mouth.
Teeth are found in the mouth so in case of a stronger hit they can get hurt. Even a small injury can cause bigger ones as smaller problems are forerunners of bigger ones.
95% of the parents said that their children do sport regularly but only 20% stated that they wear a mouthguard. It is a very low percentage but if parents made their children get used to wearing it they would prevent them from getting any injuries and dental expenses.
What else a mouthguard is good for?
Older school kids who do sports regularly should get a sports mouthguard, which not only protects the teeth but transfers the force onto the back teeth so they absorb forces. There are upper and lower mouthguards as well, depending on the sport being played.
The upper teeth are the most exposed to harm, especially the two front ones, but there are tougher combat sports which require the wearing of upper and lower mouthguards. Based on some data, basketball is the most dangerous sport for teeth.
Mouthguards are not only used in sports but to maintain the correct formation of the teeth and facial muscles. Younger kids tend to have bad habits like thumb sucking, breathing with an open mouth and bad swallowing techniques (lips shouldn’t be moved while swallowing) and these all affect the formation of the facial muscles, which determine the shape of the face. Mouthguards made for correcting facial muscles are made of a smoother plastic than the ones for sports.
The nature of a mouthguard is such that it pushes the tongue to the palate and creates a state of how the upper and lower teeth are related to one another. Without this, the jaw could move forward or backward, affecting the shape of the face and a bad set of facial muscles can result in crowded or messy teeth. It is advisable to wear a silicone mouthguard at night in this case.
Only a few people probably know that a mouthguard is also good in cases of teeth grinding at night, which affects a lot of children. Aside from it’s annoying nature it also damages the teeth.
Without any treatment the result can be worn teeth, headaches, neck and back pain and the so-called gum joint syndrome. Those who suffer from chronic teeth grinding can even grind their teeth down to the level of the gum; if this happens bridges, crowns, root canal treatment, implants, partial dentures and even full dentures might be needed.
Home remedies: have you tried them yet?
Change the position of the mouth during the day. Don’t let your jaw become stiff. According to Dr. Andrew S. Kaplan, the partner professor of the Mount Sinai Faculty of Medical Science at New York City University, our teeth should touch each other only while chewing or swallowing. If you learn to keep the teeth apart the need for grinding will be reduced. Put reminders on post-it notes in places you frequently visit like your home or workplace so that you will remember. The easiest way is to repeat constantly: “lips sealed, teeth apart”.
Eat an apple after your dinner
If you grind your teeth at night, make tire your jaw by eating an apple, raw cauliflower or a carrot before going to sleep. This method is the most effective with children who tend to do more teeth grinding.
Warm water helps
“Fold a piece of cloth, pour hot water on it, squeeze it then push it to your face or push a bottle of warm water to the gum joints.” Apply it as frequently and as long as you can. Warmth relaxes the sphincters and painful shrinkage - a headache.
Being calm is the most important thing
Teeth grinding is mostly related to stress. The most effective way to prevent it is to stay calm.
- Reduce the consumption of caffeine and refined carbohydrates, eat fewer biscuits and sweets; this can improve your general diet as well.
- Take a warm bath.
- Relaxation, calmness.
- Relaxation methods such as progressive relaxation and meditation.
Use mouthgard to prevent teeth grinding at night!
Mouthguards are available in sport stores. They must be dipped in hot water before putting in the mouth and have to be bitten into for the sake of a proper fit.
A better solution is to consult with a dentist to have a night mouthguard for therapeutic reasons to avoid any injuries to the mouth. The dentist can create a personalised mouthguard with which the original functions, aesthetics and original smile remain the same. Take advantage of this opportunity!
If you have any problems with your teeth, Tibor Dental can sort it out. Contact us for a consultation or you can just simply call us to have a conversation about your dental situation.