Mouth Guards & Splints
Did you know a mouthguard should be worn by anyone who participates in sports that have a risk of contact to the face? This may include footy, basketball, and even skateboarding and bike-riding.
A mouthguard works by absorbing the shock that would otherwise be transferred to the teeth and jaws. A heavy blow to the face can potentially result in broken teeth, damage to the skin in the mouth, and even loss of a tooth.
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends custom-made mouthguards. A mould is taken of your teeth so that the mouthguard fits your mouth perfectly and absorbs the maximum amount of force.
These can be made by making 2 short appointments with your dentist – one for the mould (the impression) and one for the fitting. We suggest a checkup before the moulds are taken to make sure the teeth are healthy before we start – if you need fillings after the mouthguard is made, it may not fit back in the mouth as well. It is a good idea to have the mouthguard checked every year to make sure it’s still fitting properly.
Bruxism (grinding or clenching teeth during your sleep) is a common problem. This can be unnoticed for a long time as it is an involuntary habit that occurs during sleep. If you have jaw pain (temporimandibular disorder), sensitive teeth, frequent headaches, tooth wear, flat teeth, or damage to dental restorations/teeth, you may want to consult your dental professional.
An occlusal splint (also known as a night guard) is a device that fits either the upper or the lower arch of your mouth and worn at night to reduce the grinding pressure otherwise given to the teeth and the chewing muscles. This can be made by taking moulds of your mouth at the first appointment, and then the custom-fitted splint is inserted at your second appointment.