Dr. Laura Geiger from Southeast Family Dental talks about the implications of buying an over-the-counter mouth guard to protect your teeth. Dr. Geiger covers both short-term and long-term solutions and how to make sure you are not causing problems with your bite or your gum tissue.
Hi, this is Dr. Geiger at Southeast Family Dental. Today I’m just gonna talk real briefly about some mouth guards.
We have lots of people come in, either clenching, jaw pain, always asking questions about guards. I tend to tell people, you are welcome to try an over-the-counter. This is where it gets a little bit questionable, because there’s so many over-the-counter guards, it gets overwhelming, you’re going to the store, you’re trying to figure out what you need to get. There’s tons of them.
What should you look for in a mouth guard?
Most the time I tell people, you don’t need to spend as much as you think you do. What you generally want to look for, in most cases, one that covers your entire, either top of your teeth, all your top teeth or all of your bottom teeth is a great choice, and there are some that only cover kind of the front teeth, either top or bottom, which work well, but those are more short-term for – you can do them short term for clenching but they’re usually more short term for jaw pain. So, if you’re having pain, popping, clicking in your joint, that’s a great thing to try but again it’s a short-term relief.
More long-term, you want something that covers your entire, again top or bottom, because what can happen with those ones that only cover the front teeth, over time it can change your bite and the way that your teeth fit together. So, not a good long-term option.
Let your dentist see your mouth guard
I would also make sure if you do buy one, that you’re telling your dentist, bringing it to your appointment, if you’re happy with it, great, we’ll look at it, make sure it fits well, it’s doing what we want, and it doesn’t have any other of those implications as far as changing bite or causing problems with the tissue or anything.
So, always a question that I get and usually pretty easy, again rule of thumb is one that covers again your entire top or bottom teeth. Again this is Dr. Geiger at Southeast Family Dental. Remember, we can make you smile.