Man putting night guard in

Don’t Let Your Guard Down: Your Guide to the Different Types of Mouth Guards

Mouth guards are oral appliances worn between the upper and lower arches of your teeth, keeping them separated and providing protection and other benefits. They can serve a variety of different purposes, and dentists may prescribe them in a range of situations.

Night Mouth Guards

Night mouth guards are some of the most commonly used. They’re intended to help people suffering from bruxism, the unconscious clenching and grinding of the teeth during sleep.

Bruxism gradually wears away enamel from the biting surfaces of teeth, leading to a variety of oral health issues. With thinner enamel, cavities and tooth decay can take hold more easily. You can also experience increased sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods or beverages.

Night mouth guards are an effective solution for bruxism. Instead of grinding against each other, teeth are in contact with a soft, malleable mouth guard, rendering grinding harmless.

Snore Mouth Guards

Snoring is caused by the partial closure of the airway that makes tissue vibrate and create that distinctive sound. Snore mouth guards help keep the airway fully open, preventing snoring.

In many cases, snoring is caused by sleep apnea. In this condition, the muscles of the throat relax, which leads to the airway closing. Along with snoring, sleep apnea can also cause you to stop breathing altogether, making you suddenly jolt awake and interrupting your sleep.

Mouth guards can also provide a solution for some cases of sleep apnea, depending on the severity. They can keep your jaw in a position that does not allow the throat muscles to relax, stopping snoring and the other symptoms of sleep apnea.

Sports Guards

A wide range of contact and noncontact sports require mouth guards to protect teeth during play. Any sport where running into another player or other objects is an essential goal or a likely outcome requires protective equipment, including a mouth guard for your teeth.

The sports guard’s primary purpose is to prevent your upper and lower arches of teeth from crashing together abruptly in the case of a sudden impact. If a takedown causes your teeth to smash together, they can chip or crack.

Chipped or cracked teeth will require some form of treatment, which will vary depending on the severity of the injury. A seriously damaged tooth may need a root canal, dental crown, or even extraction to ensure your oral health. Wearing a sports guard is a much simpler alternative.

Custom Guards vs. Over-the-Counter Guards

You’ll find plenty of mouth guards available over the counter, but these don’t always provide the same benefits as a custom guard from your dentist. First, they won’t conform to your teeth properly, providing a poor fit and reducing effectiveness. Second, these mouth guards are often made with low-quality materials that don’t last long.

If you instead go to a dentist for a custom mouth guard, you can rest assured that the guard will fit your teeth perfectly. Your dentist will create the mouth guard based on an impression or scan of your mouth. This provides better protection for night and sports guards, along with a more comfortable fit for all types of mouth guards.

Getting Your Custom Mouth Guard

If you need any type of mouth guard, you can count on Dr. Behnam Cohen, DDS, at Cohen Dental Care to have just what you need. We serve clients in Great Neck and Briarwood. High-quality custom mouth guards deliver performance, comfort, and longevity. Contact Cohen Dental Care today to schedule an appointment and find out which mouth guard is right for your needs.