While some dental mouth guards are designed to be used as sports guards as well, not all sports guards are suitable to be used as dental guards. Sports guards act as a shock absorber and as protection from concussions, neck, jaw and teeth injuries. Sports guards are designed to fit over upper teeth and work by distributing the forces of blow to the face. They are very important protection in all contact sports.
Night guards or dental guards are designed to provide a cushion between upper and lower jaw and protect teeth and jaw from the pressure caused by jaw clenching and teeth grinding. The protection is needed between the two jaws and not in front of the teeth, as in contact sports. Dental guards are designed to fit over the teeth of the top jaw (maxillary splints) or of the bottom jaw (mandibular splints). They can be made to be flat against the opposing teeth, or formed to fit the surfaces of the teeth. Some are designed to be used for repositioning the jaw.
Both sports guards and dental guards can be purchased off the counter or can be custom made for better fit and increased comfort. When buying or ordering a mouth guard, make sure to specify what you need it for.
Continue to Part 3 – Types of Dental Mouth Guards – Off The Counter Guards Vs. Custom Guards.